J Street expects to raise $1 million for candidates

WASHINGTON (JTA) — J Street’s political action committee has raised $650,000 so far for this year’s elections and is backing a slate of 61 candidates, including 10 Jewish lawmakers.

A statement Thursday from the dovish pro-Israel lobby’s PAC said that it expected to raise $1 million this cycle.

In its first election cycle, in 2008, J Street backed 41 candidates and spent  $829,000, according to Open Secrets, a group that tracks spending in elections, making it the most successful pro-Israel PAC.

Among Jewish candidates, J Street added to its endorsees two longstanding lawmakers: Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Middle East subcommittee, and Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.).

It lost endorsee Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). A handful of candidates have rejected J Street support after encountering hostility to its views among constituents.

J Street backs an assertive U.S. role in peacemaking that includes pressure on Israelis and Arabs.

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