Avi Fertig earns GOP nod
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Growing up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, where he first met Kopel, whose family lived around the corner from the Fertigs, government wasn’t his first career choice. He went to Brooklyn College, studied psychology and graduated in 1995. Fertig worked for nearly six years with children and young adults with developmental disabilities, was a recreational therapist at a residence home and a case manager for the Medicaid Waiver program.
He began a small communications firm in 2000 that did advertising and marketing for nonprofit organizations and small to midsized companies. Fertig also got his first taste of government service working for then City Councilman Noach Deer, now a state Civil Court judge. “I was always good at writing, good at talking, articulating thoughts and ideas, and I like talking to people,” Fertig said. “I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of helping people.”
Following the economic downturn that began in the latter half of 2008, his communication firm’s business started to slow. In 2010, Fertig found himself working for his old neighbor. “First and foremost he’s really smart, writes well and he thinks, which is a commodity that, unfortunately, at times, is rare in politics,” Kopel said in explaining why his former aide would make a good legislator.
Fertig’s opponent has yet to be decided, as Long Beach residents Todd Kaminsky, a former U.S. attorney, and Councilman Anthony Eramo, along with Lido Beach resident Robert Solomon, will vie for the Democratic nomination in a September primary. Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) said he would not seek another term after 25 years in office.
“I’m the guy who knows the rest of the district and the Five Towns,” Fertig said. “They know Long Beach, but they won’t know the Five Towns. Because of the work I’ve done, I’ve straddled both sides of the district, and I’m familiar with the issues in all these communities.”