City Councilman Lew Fidler kicked off his campaign for state Senate Monday on the steps of City Hall and acknowledged the recent political scandals that have rocked his southern Brooklyn district.
"You have to know right from wrong," said Fidler, 55, ticking off a list of attributes elected officials should have.
Democrat Carl Kruger previously held the seat before admitting to taking bribes last month. Former Rep. Anthony Weiner also represented a portion of the district in Congress before resigning in a sexting scandal last year.
Fidler, a Democrat also backed by the Independence Party, will challenge Republican attorney David Storobin in the March 20 special election.
Senate Republicans took aim at Fidler, who was surrounded by several Brooklyn pols during his announcement: "Just like failed Congressional candidate David Weprin, politician Lew Fidler will kick off his insider campaign surrounded by other professional politicians, the party bosses who handed him the nomination, and the wealthy special interests who will bankroll his latest run for office, but nowhere near the hardworking men and women of the district he's running to represent."
Unlike Weprin, who lost to GOP candidate Bob Turner to replace Weiner in a special election, Fidler is counting on the weighty support from local Jewish leadership and former Mayor Ed Koch.
Koch crossed party lines to endorse Turner over Weprin in the congressional match up.
Fidler, meanwhile, said he's ready for the race, telling his supporters the best compliment he ever received was from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The two have butted heads over the years on several issues, such as bike lanes and congestion pricing.
Fidler offered that the mayor once said of him: "'He's no shrinking violet, and when he's on the other side [of an issue], he can be a pain in the behind.'"
Follow reporter Erik Ortiz on Twitter: @erikjhortiz