A former Jewish liaison for the Clinton administration and Democratic campaigns is running for Congress. Jay Footlik, who served Clinton as well as U.S. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) in their 2004 runs, announced Tuesday that he would challenge U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), whose suburban Chicago district has a large Jewish community and who has enjoyed strong pro-Israel support in the past. “Our community deserves real leadership in Congress after years of rubber-stamp support for President Bush’s disastrous policies in Iraq and here at home,” Footlik said in the statement launching his campaign. “My experience working at the highest levels of our government and toward a lasting peace in the Middle East will be the heart of my campaign to represent Illinois families in Congress.” Footlik lived for a time in Israel, working for peace groups. He moved to northern Virginia upon his return to the United States in 2004, and now works as a consultant representing Israeli high-tech companies in the security sector. He will return to the Chicago area, where he was born and raised.
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