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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Primary Postcard: Norwood Polls Quiet After Apparent Morning Brawl

Koppell campaign workers stand outside of the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center polling site. Sandler (right) claims a Cassino supporter tried to strangle him this morning.

Around 3 p.m. this afternoon, the primary polling site at the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center was ominously devoid of Tony Cassino campaigners. Instead, Oliver Koppell campaign workers strolled around the area surrounding the community center passing out flyers and attempting to sway primary voters in their favor.

Despite Cassino's Norwood campaign office's location directly across the street from the community center, the only Cassino campaign literature in sight was plastered on the windows of his office.

However, earlier in the day, a Koppell campaign worker claimed that Cassino campaigners were not so quiet.

Andrew Sandler, a Koppell volunteer who has been campaigning outside of the community center all day, said, "A Cassino supporter pushed me and strangled me this morning when I was handing out flyers outside of Cassino's office." Although Sandler said that when he complained about the incident to Cassino, the City Council candidate apologized for his supporter's violent behavior, but Cassino also "said that I provoked him." The Cassino campaign could not be reached for a comment.

Besides the alleged brawl, Sandler said the poll station at the community center has been "quiet."

Poll workers agreed with Sandler, saying that turnout has been fairly low and they hope to get more voters after 5 p.m.

At another poll site in Norwood, the St. Brendan School on 207th Street, poll workers also said the turnout for today's primary election has been low. One worker pointed out that not one person has voted in the 94th District today.

Outside of the St. Brendan School, Jamin Sewell, who is counsel for Councilman Koppell, said he was "not surprised" about the number of voters. "I expected a low turnout," he said. "In some cases, people are unaware of the election."

Still, Sewell said, "I'm confident he (Koppell) is going to win, it just is a matter of by how much."

There were no Cassino campaigners outside of the St. Brendan School this afternoon.


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