Pro-Trump candidate could win Brooklyn council seat

Candidate Inna Vernikov, 37, has a real chance of winning a City Council seat in southern Brooklyn, sources say.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


A pro-Trump Republican candidate who opposes COVID-19 vaccine mandates has a real chance of winning a City Council seat in southern Brooklyn, political sources in the borough say, according to The New York Post.

Candidate Inna Vernikov, a 37-year-old lawyer and Jewish Ukrainian native, is running against Democrat Steve Saperstein in the 48th Council District. Both are vying to succeed ex-Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who forfeited his seat earlier this year after getting convicted of tax fraud.

“This is a very competitive race. This is an area of Brooklyn where Donald Trump did extremely well,” said a veteran Brooklyn Democrat who knows the district well.

The source said Vernikov could catch fire with Russian-speaking voters.

A staunch champion of Israel, Vernikov said she would fight to restore funding to the NYPD and back merit-based education and school choice, including prodding Albany to pass a state law to lift the cap that prevents the opening of charter schools. She also would seek to ban placing homeless shelters near schools.

Vernikov did not shy away from her support of Trump in last year’s presidential race when recently talking to The Post.

“I did vote for Trump. He was the best president we’ve had for Israel and the Jews,” she told the newspaper.

She has also stated that she will oppose the city-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate and fight to restore funding to the NYPD.

Vernikov is supported by former Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a conservative Democrat who she previously worked for and who often supports Republicans and is respected by a large number of Orthodox Jewish voters in southern Brooklyn.

Saperstein, a special-education teacher, has refused to say who he voted for in the presidential race.

Vernikov said the decision about whether to get vaccinated should be a personal one and instead of a mandate supports people getting tested regularly for COVID-19.

On education, Vernikov said she would fight to expand school choices for parents and students — including promoting religious-based and charter schools as well as traditional public schools.

Vernikov recently filed a police complaint after claiming someone hacked into her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Facebook disabled her accounts, blocking what it deemed objectionable content and claiming the 37-year-old candidate was too young to have an account, according to The Post.

Vernikov said she never posted inflammatory or false information.

“I find it extremely suspicious that the day I post that my opponent refuses to debate me that my Facebook account gets hacked and that Facebook says I’m too young to own a Facebook page,” she said.

Saperstein denied his campaign had any role in hacking Vernikov’s social media accounts.