Democrats certainly seem to have whatever the opposite of momentum is... though this is probably a special case since it's a district that's about to be eliminated and with the tightest of margins... but still, this should have been easy for the Democrats

On Thursday, 72 days after the voting, a hand recount resulting from the contested March 20 special election gave Mr. Storobin, 33, a neophyte Republican candidate in what had been a Democratic stronghold in South Brooklyn, an unofficial 16-vote margin of victory, he said.

The campaign manager for his Democratic opponent, the three-term city councilman Lewis A. Fidler, had the margin at 14, out of more than 22,000 votes, but that was enough for Mr. Fidler to concede. A New York City Board of Elections spokeswoman said the board would not certify the election until Tuesday.

“It’s really very exciting,” Mr. Storobin said Thursday. “Not only as the first Republican to win in a long time, but as the first Russian-American, and as a Russian Jew, knowing that I could never do much in the Soviet Union.”

Mr. Storobin, a lawyer, came to the United States with a single mother when he was 12, and settled in Brooklyn without speaking English. “Early in this race, when people were telling me, ‘You won’t win,’ I said, ‘Look, I have heard this all my life,’ ” he said.

Mr. Storobin will go to Albany with just three weeks left in the current legislative session, and his term will not last much longer. The current 27th District, formerly represented by Carl Kruger, a Democrat who resigned and pleaded guilty to corruption charges, will no longer exist come January, because the lines have been redrawn.

In his concession statement, Mr. Fidler quoted the Grateful Dead, noting “what a long, strange trip it’s been,” and then congratulated Mr. Storobin. “In whatever time he may spend as the senator from the 27th District, I pledge to work with him for the benefit of our community whenever and wherever we can find common ground,” he said.

Mr. Storobin led at virtually every point of the counting, though the margin was always slim. A hand recount was ordered about two weeks ago because the margin then, 27 votes, was so small.

The process was rife with legal proceedings and bitter comments. Mr. Fidler filed a lawsuit claiming fraud over one block of ballots, and a judge allowed them to be included. “Appealing the court’s decision, however, would only extend an already too long saga, at unnecessary cost to the taxpayers,” Mr. Fidler said.

Mr. Storobin said he would be sworn in early next week.

“I hope that in the remaining part of this term,” Mr. Storobin said, “I will be able to accomplish something.”