11 Jews Elected to House
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11 Jews Elected to House

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At least 11 Jewish Congressmen will take places in the House of Representatives when the 93rd Congress convenes in Jan., according to a survey by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in the aftermath of yesterday’s elections. This number is one shy of the 12 Jews in the just-ended 92nd Congress and two fewer than the record number of 14 in the first session of the 90th Congress in 1967.

The Senate’s two Jewish members, Jacob K. Davits (R.N.Y.) and Abraham A. Ribicoff (D. Conn.), were not up for re-election. Their terms end in 1975. The record number of Jewish Senators was three, also in 1967, when Ernest Gruening (D. Alas.) was a member, along with Ribicoff and Javits.

Re-elected to the House yesterday were Bella S. Abzug, Edward I. Koch, Bertram L. Podell, Benjamin S. Rosenthal and Lester L. Wolff of New York City; Sidney R. Yates of Chicago; Joshua Eilberg of Philadelphia, and Sam Steiger of Arizona. All are Democrats except Steiger, who is a Republican.

Newly elected were Elizabeth Holtzman of Brooklyn, N.Y., William Lehman of Miami and Ed Mezvinsky of Iowa City, all Democrats. The controversial Mrs. Abzug won easily in a race in which three of the five candidates were Jewish. Finishing third and fourth were Mrs. Annette Flatto Levy (R.) and Harvey J. Michelman (Cons.).


A major Jewish casualty was Rep. Abner J. Mikva, Chicago Democrat, who lost, 118,000-111,000. to Republican Samuel H. Young, a corporate lawyer. Mikva, a veteran of 10 years in the Illinois Legislature and four in Congress, was handicapped by facing a new electorate. The 46-year-old Congressman’s old South side territory was divided into three parts and among other House members. Mikva moved himself and his family 20 miles north to Evanston and ran in the affluent suburbs as a supporter of the unsuccessful Democratic Presidential nominee, Sen. George McGovern.

Miss Holtzman, a 31-year-old Harvard Law School graduate, defeated Emanuel Celler, 84, a veteran of 50 years in the House. Celler, also Jewish, was the influential chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Beaten by Miss Holtzman in the Democratic primary, he ran a passive election campaign on the Liberal Party line.

Mezvinsky, a lawyer, defeated Republican Fred Schwengel in Iowa. Two years ago, Schwengel beat Mezvinsky by fewer than 800 votes, but this time the winner had the University of Iowa student vote. The Congressman-elect, 35, is the younger brother of Norton Mezvinsky, former director of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism and one of seven men who recently sued the United Jewish Appeal and the United Israel Appeal on back-tax grounds. Ed Mezvinsky reportedly opposes his brother’s Middle East views.

Besides Mikva and Celler, Jewish Congressmen not returning are Seymour Halpern, Queens, N.Y. Republican, who is retiring at 50 after 14 years in Congress, and James H. Scheuer, Bronx, N.Y., Democrat, who lost in the primary in a re-apportioned district. Democrat Richard L. Ottinger, millionaire former Congressman, lost a bid to unseat Republican Peter A. Peyser in a new district in Westchester County, N.Y.


Five Jewish candidates for Congress in California lost. They were Michael Shapiro, Luther Mandel, Mark Novak, Bruce Wolfe and Roger Boas. In Massachusetts–the most anti-war state in the nation and the only one captured by McGovern–Martin A. Linsky (R.) lost his bid to unseat the Rev. Robert F, Drinan (D.) of Newton, a Jesuit priest. Linsky, a member of the State Legislature, and Fr.

Drinan are both outspoken liberals, and the incumbent has been strong in support of Jewish causes. According to Fr. Drinan’s office, he received 50 percent of the vote, Linsky 45 percent and John T. Collins, Ind. -Cons., 5 percent.

Among the Jewish State Senators re-elected in New York were Roy M. Goodman, Manfred Ohrenstein and Joseph Zaretzki, Manhattan; Jeremiah Bloom and Donald Halpern, Brooklyn; Harrison Goldin and Abraham Bernstein, the Bronx, and Jack E. Bronston and Emanuel R. Gold, Queens. Returned to the New York State Assembly were such Jewish incumbents as Andrew J. Stein and Albert H. Blumenthal, Manhattan; Stanley Steingut and Leonard Silverman, Brooklyn, and Herbert Posner, Leonard Stavisky and Arthur Cooperman, Queens.

Karen S. Burstein, a 30-year-old lawyer of the Ninth District (Long Island). became the first Democrat and the first County woman to reach the New York State Senate. Mrs. Nanette Dembitz (D.) lost a bid to be the first woman on the State Court of Appeals. In Alabama, Jewish lawyer and State legislator (D.) Ben Erdreich of Birmingham failed to unseat Rep. John H. Buchanan, Jr. (R.) of that city. a former pastor who is strongly pro-Israel. In Michigan, State Appeals Court Judge Charles Levin won easily over his opponents. Daniel Cooper, the Democratic Congressional candidate in a new district, was defeated by his Republican opponent.

In Missouri, Democrat Jack J. Schramm of Clayton, a St. Louis suburb, a representative in the State Legislature, was in a neck-and-neck race for Lieutenant Governor. The handy victory in Missouri for President Nixon included apparently more Jewish support for him than in 1968, though less than a majority, according to unofficial estimates. In California, Democrat Michael Shapiro was seeking to unseat Rep. Alphonzo Bell (R.), a non-Jew who has been active on behalf of Soviet Jewry.

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