Background Report Jewish Congressional Candidates Have a Good Chance of Winning in November

Jews, who have been increasing their numbers in Congress with every election, stand a good chance of continuing this trend in the November elections.

This is especially true in the Senate, where there are now eight Jews, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Five Jews are seeking Senate seats, including two incumbents, Sens. Warren Rudman (R. NH) and Arlen Specter (R. Pa.).

One of the three others is Missouri Lieutenant Governor Harriet Woods, a Democrat, who hopes to become the first Jewish woman elected to the Senate. Woods lost in an earlier attempt four years ago against Sen. John Danforth (R. Mo.). This time she is running against former Republican Governor Christopher Bond for the seat being vacated by Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D. Mo.).

The other two Jewish Senatorial candidates are Rep. Ken Kramer (R. Colo.), who opposes Rep. Timothy Wirth (D. Colo.), for the seat being vacated by Sen. Gary Hart (D. Colo.); and Mark Green, who was a surprise victor in the New York Democratic primary and is trying to unseat Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R. NY).

In the House, 28 of the 30 Jewish members — 24 Democrats and four Republicans — are seeking re-election. The other two are Kramer and Rep. Bobbi Fiedler (R. CA), who was defeated in the California Republican primary for the Senate.

Among those seeking election to the House is Bella Abzug, who in 1970 was the first Jewish woman elected to Congress. She gave up that seat in 1976 for an unsuccessful bid for the Senate. Abzug, a Democrat, formerly represented a Manhattan district now held by Rep. Theodore Weiss (D. NY). She is now running in Westchester against one-term Rep. Joseph DioGuardi.

Other Jewish candidates include, Benjamin Cardin in Maryland, James Cohen in Connecticut, and Rosemary Pooler in upstate New York, all Democrats; and Marc Holtzman, a Republican, running in Pennsylvania.

There are two Jews also running for Governor, both Democrats. They are Madeleine Kunin, seeking her second term in Vermont, and Neil Goldschmidt, former mayor of Portland and Secretary of Transportation in the Carter Administration, running in Oregon.

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