Shapp Becomes First Jewish Governor in Pa., Mandel Returned, Goldberg Defeated
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Shapp Becomes First Jewish Governor in Pa., Mandel Returned, Goldberg Defeated

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Prominent candidates of the Jewish faith both won and lost in elections yesterday in which anti-Semitism often surfaced but Middle East policy was largely a non-issue. The most prestigious loser was Arthur J. Goldberg, the former Secretary of Labor. United Nations ambassador and Supreme Court Justice, making his first bid for elective office at the age of 62. He finished well behind Republican incumbent Nelson A. Rockefeller, who won a fourth term. Mr. Goldberg was reluctant to stress his Jewishness, but with a black Catholic, State Sen. Basil A. Paterson, for Lieutenant Governor, the Democratic slate cut into the formerly pro-Rockefeller Jewish and black neighborhoods as the Governor successfully concentrated on Italian and Irish Catholics and other “white ethnics” while retaining his pro-Israel and anti-crime image. Re-elected were State Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz, 66, who has held that office since 1956 and who beat Democrat Adam Walinsky, a former Robert F. Kennedy aide; and Democratic Controller Arthur Levitt, 70, in office since 1955. Jonathan Rothschild, who is Jewish but is not related to the banking family, was the unsuccessful Lieutenant Governor candidate of the Socialist Workers Party. Republican Morris Kirsch, chairman of the beverage company, lost in his bid to be Brooklyn Borough President.

In Senatorial races. Rep. Richard L. Ottinger. New York Democrat; Howard M. Metzenbaum, Ohio Democrat; Sam Grossman, Arizona Democrat, and Nelson G. Gross, New Jersey Republican, all lost. In governorship races, Democrat Marvin Mandel retained the Maryland statehouse, and Milton J. Shapp became Pennsylvania’s first Jewish chief executive. Michigan State Sen, Sander Levin failed to unseat the incumbent Governor. In New York City Congressional contests, 82-year-old Emanuel Celler, a House fixture since 1922, was reelected, as were Edward I. Koch, James H. Scheuer, Bertram L. Podell, Lester L. Wolff, Seymour Halpern and Benjamin S. Rosenthal. All are Democrats excepts for the Republican Mr. Halpern. In a bitter battle in which the extent of the candidates’ pro-Israelism was a key issue, Democrat peace activist Bella S. Abzug, defeated Republican radio personality Barry Farber. Incumbent Democrat Allard K. Lowenstein, initiator of the 1968 “dump Johnson” movement, lost in a gerrymandered district. At least four non-Jewish Senators strongly identified with Israel were reelected–Missouri Democrat Stuart Symington, Massachusetts Democrat Edward M. Kennedy, Maine Democrat Edmund S. Muskie and Pennsylvania Republican Hugh Scott–and former Democratic Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was returned to the upper house in Minnesota. George C. Wallace, the segregationist who attracted much conservative Jewish support in his 1968 Presidential race, was reinstalled as Governor of Alabama. Ronald Reagan, conservative Republican who is staunchly pro-Israel, was reelected Governor of California.


Democrat Frank Licht, running for reelection as Governor of Rhode Island, was about 2,500 votes ahead of his Republican challenger. Herbert De Simone, but the election will be determined by some 7,500 absentee ballots, experts said in Providence. The final count may take more than a week. Richard Israel, assistant State Attorney General, a Republican, won the post of Attorney General, defeating Frank Caprio, the Democratic nominee. Among the defeated were such strong Israel backers as Sen. Albert Gore, Democrat of Tennessee; Sen. Thomas J. Dodd. Connecticut Democrat running as an independent, and Sen. George Murphy, California Republican. Republican Sen. John J. Williams of Delaware, who voted against increased aid to Israel, was unseated. Political analysts evaluating the trend among Jewish voters in New York noted several motivating factors in the choice of candidates and parties: the more Orthodox Jews were strongly attracted to Rockefeller and other candidates that were to the right of center because of their strong stand on the issue of law and order.

Many Jews – Including segments not identified with conservative political views – were concerned that the urban crisis and campus strife would spill over into Jewish communities and make Jews, especially the elderly who still reside in hotbeds of racial tension, victims and targets of violence. In addition, the Orthodox Jews were also impressed with Rockefeller’s strong stand on state aid to private schools. Both Rockefeller and James L. Buckley, New York’s Senatorial candidate on the Conservative Party ticket, ran on strong law and order platforms. In addition, many Jews were reported to be anxious about having a Jewish candidate in office for fear that any administrative failures or social upheavals would be blamed on a Jewish administrator’s “obviously liberal tolerance.” Another factor, analysts noted, especially strong in the New York gubernatorial race, was the reluctance of Goldberg to run on what he termed an ethnic appeal and his repeated denials that despite his pro-Israel views neither he nor Jews in general could be charged with “dual loyalty.” Rockefeller, who is not Jewish, stated his pro-Israel position time and again, as did Buckley, but neither candidate had any anxiety of being charged with dual loyalty.

Interestingly enough, an Interview with New York “hard hats” that appeared in the “New York” magazine on the eve of the elections, quoted several construction workers critical of Goldberg and Javits for their preoccupation with Israel. Still another factor in the trend among Jewish voters, as evidenced by a group of prominent rabbis who issued an 11th-hour endorsement of Rockefeller, was an effort to show that there was no “Jewish vote” even for a Jewish candidate. While the election returns’ breakdown by assembly and congressional districts were not all available earlier today, it appeared that the general trend of voting among Jews was similar throughout the country. Generally, the election results was termed by some as a “mixed bag” but nowhere near a swing to conservatism that certain political ultras predicted it would be. Even the highly touted win of Buckley did not reverse the power of the liberal political bloc in New York since he only received 39 percent of the vote while the remaining 61 percent went to his opponents. One political observer noted that the lineup in the next session of Congress “will be as firmly committed to the independence and security of Israel as this one was.” He added that to the best of his knowledge “nowhere was anyone elected or defeated on the basis of a stated position on Israel.”

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