NYT Reports: The Board of Elections, on Friday morning, said Mr. Olechowski led Mr. Restler by 136 votes, 5,820 to 5,684.
The results, however, seemed to have less to do with machine politics than Hasidic politics, particularly within the splintered Satmar sect. Satmar Hasidim loyal to Mr. Lopez streamed to their polling places in Williamsburg in numbers that made it seem that the election would determine the nation’s president rather than the relatively inconspicuous position of the district leader of a few Brooklyn neighborhoods.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Olechowski said the election was “the most bizarre that could have happened.”
“It’s because of the politics surrounding Assemblyman Lopez and the Hasidim,” he said. “Restler’s wanting to fight corruption when I’m just hoping to get a park for the Greenpoint community.”
The election comes a week before the district leaders, including the still-incumbent Mr. Restler, 28, vote to pick a new Democratic county chairman. Mr. Lopez is stepping down from the post, and his friend and protégé Frank R. Seddio is viewed as the favorite to succeed him.
Many of those who voted for Mr. Olechowksi (pronounced O-le-HOF-ski) could barely pronounce his name and attributed actions to him — like saving four upstate summer camps and Section 8 apartments — that had more to with Mr. Lopez. Many of those — known as Zaloynim for their support for Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum as Satmar grand rabbi — said they had been told to vote for Mr. Olechowski by their rabbis or yeshiva officials.
At the polling place at the Beginning With Children Charter School 2 on Heyward Street, Eliezer Fried, 21, a yeshiva student, said he had voted for Mr. Olechowski because “I like Vito Lopez — he’s good for the community — he saved the summer camps.”
A competing faction of Satmar Hasidim — known as Aroynem for their support of Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum as Satmar grand rabbi — also turned out in large numbers, but they are not as numerous within Williamsburg. Rabbi Moishe Indig, an Aroynem leader, put the Zaloynim margin at 60-40.