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Record Number of Five Jews Are Now in the Senate

November 4, 1976
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Cleveland businessman Howard Metzenbaum upset Republican incumbent Sen Robert Taft Jr. of Cincinnati and Omaha Mayor Edward Zorinsky defeated Republican Congressman John Y. McCollister in Nebraska in U.S. Senate races yesterday.

Zorinsky and Metzenbaum, both Democrats, raise the number of Jewish Senators to five, a record. The seats of incumbents Jacob K. Javits (R.NY), Abraham Ribicoff (D.Conn,) and Richard Stone (D.Fla.) were not at stake and they will be in the 95th Congress that convenes in January.

Three other Jewish Senatorial candidates, however, were defeated, according to unofficial returns received here. Five-term Congressman Sam Steiger, who won the Republican nomination in Arizona in a bitter primary battle with anti-Semitic overtones, lost to Dennis de Concinci, a Democrat who is prosecutor in Pima County (Tucson) by 398,888 to 320,226.

Richard P. Lorber, a Democrat, lost in his first election try to former Republican Governor John Chafee in Rhode Island, 222,746 to 163,088. In Connecticut, Mrs. Gloria Schaffer, the state’s top Democratic vote getter and the only woman in the 33 Senate races yesterday, lost to Republican Sen. Lowell Weicker who won his second term by a vote of 787,568 to 559,109 for Schaffer.


Zorinsky, the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Nebraska since 1934 and the first Jew in the state’s history to represent it in the Senate, replaces the veteran Republican Roman Hruska who retired. Originally a Republican, Zorinsky entered the primary as a Democrat. With 1882 of the 2069 districts reported, Zorinsky led McCollister by 32,000 votes. He was heavily supported by labor unions in a conservative state.

Metzenbaum, who ran a relatively low key campaign in his rematch of the 1970 campaign with Taft, won by about 89,000 votes. Six years ago Taft beat Metzenbaum by 70,000 votes. Metzenbaum lost to astronaut John Glenn, a Republican, in the Senate campaign two years ago after Metzenbaum had served a year as an appointee, replacing William Saxbe when he was named U.S. Attorney General.

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