WASHINGTON, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – A Soviet-born candidate has complained to the New York State Supreme Court and election board that he was smeared as a former KGB agent and socialist in a dirty tricks campaign leading up to a vote in Brooklyn last month, a local news website has reported.
Ari Kagan finished second in the Democratic Party primary for New York City Council’s 48th district in Brooklyn, which includes Brighton Beach and other areas that are home to a large Russian immigrant community, many of whom came to the United States as refugees from the Soviet Union, according to the Gotham Gazette.
Kagan told the Gotham Gazette that the race was unfair and accused one of his rivals of organizing Russian-language robo-calls targeting Russian-speaking voters, who were told Kagan was a former KGB agent.
In the complaint he filed with the court, which Kagan showed to the Gotham Gazette, he also alleges that fliers were distributed that identified him as a socialist and that an unknown group sent Russian-language mailers to voters, informing them that their polling sites had been moved.
“It suppressed the turnout,” Kagan told the website.
Kagan said he has filed a complaint about the race with the New York State Supreme Court and the Board of Elections. A spokeswoman at the Board of Elections confirmed the agency had received a complaint, the Gotham Gazette reported Monday.
Kagan declined to say on the record who he thought was behind the campaign, but said the perpetrator knew “who to call and how to call them,” the Gotham Gazette reported.
Born in Belarus in 1967, Kagan immigrated to the United States in 1993. He hosts his own weekly TV show "Here in America" on the Russian Television Network of America and is the senior editor and marketing director for Russian weekly newspaper Vecherniy New York, according to his official website.
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