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Resignation of Congressman Reduces Number of Jewish House Members

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The resignation last week of Rep. Frederick Richmond (D. NY) brings the number of Jews in the House of Representatives down to 25. Richmond resigned after pleading guilty to evading nearly $50,000 in income tax payments, possessing marijuana and illegally paying $7,420 to a Navy employe who helped obtain a business for the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Richmond was first elected to Congress in 1974 and served a Brooklyn district that while largely Black, also included the Brooklyn Heights area and parts of the heavily Haridic Williamsburg area.

Twenty seven Jews were elected to the House in 1980. But one, Gladys Spellman, suffered a heart attack before the election and remained in a coma. Her seat was vacated after the new House was sworn in on January 1981. There are six Jews in the Senate, two of whom — Sens. Howard Metzenbaum (D. Ohio) and Edward Zorinsky (D. Neb.) — are up for re-election this year.

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