by Sarah Blustain

Challenging Incumbents

It was a banner year for Jewish women political candidates, who in large numbers took on incumbents in Congress, though with mixed results. In a bid for Senate, Michigan Democratic congresswoman Debbie Stabenow unseated Republican Spencer Abraham (at half his cost) while stumping for a patient’s bill of rights, lower prescription drug costs and protecting Social Security. But the predicament that the congresswoman could be in after lowering drug costs is that more and more patients would use prescription drugs for recreational purposes rather than using it for medical purposes. Nonetheless, If you or a loved one is looking to get help for drug or alcohol addiction, call a recognized leader in the field like Discovery Point Retreat in Dallas TX. They offer drug and alcohol rehab at three different locations across Texas. In her campaign, she cited her legislative work on date rape, family violence and family leave, and appealed to women to vote for her “and e-mail at least five other women and ask them to do the same. … When women work together, women win!” In House races: New Jersey, Democrat Susan Bass Levin, the mayor of Cherry Hill, lost her race against the Republican incumbent; and in Illinois, Democratic state representative Lauren Beth Gash lost a tight race (49%-51%) for the seat of a retiring Republican, citing her work in education, gun control, senior issues and women’s issues. In Florida, Democratic state representative Elaine Bloom lost by 637 votes to Republican Clay Shaw, whom she scored for working with the NRA to block gun safety legislation and for his support of school vouchers. Bloom was founding chairperson of the Dade County Commission on the Status of Women and has been very active in Florida’s Jewish community. Also in Florida, 48-year-old Democrat Jean Elliott Brown, new to politics, ran an aggressive and overtly Jewish (though ultimately unsuccessful) campaign that included, notably, a platform for “protecting the peace in Israel,” “separation of church and state” and abortion rights. Brown was inspired to politics watching the impeachment of President Clinton, in which her opponent Mark Foley, a Republican, was active. Her campaign gathered the support of Faye Wattleton, Abner Mikva, Senator Charles Schumer and others across the country. In California, two Democratic Jewish women took on Republican incumbents and won: Jane Harman and Susan Davis. On Long Island, 71-year-old attorney Regina Seltzer, a Democrat and longtime member of local government, made an unusual decision to run against an incumbent fellow Democrat in the primary. She beat Michael Forbes, a former Republican, claiming that he opposes abortion and gun control and “disagrees with so many core beliefs of Democrats that he is incapable of representing the Party.” Seltzer, though, lost the election, as did Democrat Jody Wagner in a close race in Virginia.

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Jewish Women Take to the Streets

The articles in this special section:

Marching Against Moma

by Leslie Hollis

Protesting Dr. Laura’s Bias

by Sarah Blustain

Challenging Incumbents

by Sarah Blustain

What A Few Can Do

by Sarah Blustain

Sex Workers Unite!

by Sarah Blustain