'I will lead every policy that strengthens US-Israel alliance' - Republican candidate

Republican Senate candidate Leora Levy is set to face incumbent Democrat Richard Blumenthal in the Connecticut Senate race.

 A 'Vote Here' sign is seen at a precinct the day before Michigan Democrats and Republicans choose their nominees to contest November's congressional elections, which will determine which party controls US House of Representatives for next two years, in Birmingham, Michigan, US August 1, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/EMILY ELCONIN)
A 'Vote Here' sign is seen at a precinct the day before Michigan Democrats and Republicans choose their nominees to contest November's congressional elections, which will determine which party controls US House of Representatives for next two years, in Birmingham, Michigan, US August 1, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/EMILY ELCONIN)

ASHINGTON – Last week, businesswoman Leora Levy won the Republican primary in Connecticut to the US Senate. She will face incumbent Senator Richard Blumenthal in November, and although Cook Political Report considers the seat as “Solid Democratic,” she is convinced that her chances are good.

“When I travel around the state, it doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat, Republican, independent, unaffiliated – everybody says the country is on the wrong track,” she says. “Everybody goes to the grocery store, to the gas station. Parents have to make hard choices. Do I feed my children? Do I fill my car, my gas tank?”

Who is Leora Levy?

Levy was born in Cuba in 1957 after her parents escaped Lithuania in 1940. “Germany invaded Poland in 1939 next door, so they left on a very perilous journey,” she said. “They took a train through Germany, sitting in the first-class car full of SS officers and made it to Italy. And they made it to Ellis Island, but they weren’t allowed into the United States.

“Luckily, there were other relatives who had gone to Cuba and were able to get visas for them to go to Cuba. So, they went to Cuba,” she said.

Brown University's John Carter Brown library (credit: CHENSIYUAN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Brown University's John Carter Brown library (credit: CHENSIYUAN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

In 1960, when she was three years old, her family left the Caribbean island nation and moved to the US. “I remember it vividly,” she said. “I remember being at the airport just holding onto my mother’s hand because it was just crowded and chaotic. And it was scary for a three-year-old.”

She completed her BA at Brown University and became a commodities trader, but admitted that she always wanted to run for federal office. “I have never been as worried or concerned about my country or the world as I am today,” she said.

What does this Republican candidate stand for?

“Every part of our country is off balance, and 70% of the American people agree; they think our country is headed in the wrong direction,” Levy said. “I’m very concerned, first of all, about the unaffordability of life for families in my state of Connecticut and throughout the United States, with inflation over 9%.

“Every part of our country is off balance, and 70% of the American people agree; they think our country is headed in the wrong direction.”

Leora Levy

“We live in the northeast, and while it’s warm now, winter is coming,” she said. “The price of home heating oil, the price of electricity, natural gas – no matter how you heat your house – those prices are very high and it’s going to be a long, cold winter. I’m very worried about that. People will have to make very difficult choices. Young parents cannot find baby formula in the US in 2022.”

Concerning her connection to the Jewish state, Levy said that “Israel is very important to me, to my family. I was raised as a Zionist. So, Israel is a part of me just as America is.”

“I am a Zionist and it’s in my DNA,” she continued. “I will lead on every policy that promotes a strong security alliance between the United States and Israel, cultural and economic alliances and ties between the United States and Israel. I support the Abraham Accords, and I’m hoping that they will be expanded to include other countries.”

When asked what country she thinks could join the accords next, Levy mentioned the Saudis. “Well, I think like everybody else: I’m holding my breath to see if Saudi Arabia will get on board,” she explained. “They opened their airspace; there are contacts and overtures. And I’m hoping and praying that they will get on board because there is a natural alliance in the Middle East in opposition to Iran and the behavior of Iran in the world.”

When asked about the importance of the Jewish vote in her state, she said, “There is a stark difference between Blumenthal and Leora Levy when it comes to Israel and when it comes to Iran: that Blumenthal supported the JCPOA in 2015.”

“I called him out in our local paper at the time; I would never have voted for that,” she explained. “And that is a big contrast between us because Biden is trying to negotiate another flawed agreement with Iran.

“I don’t know where Senator Blumenthal will stand on it. I have a feeling because I’m breathing down his neck, I hope he changes his position, but I don’t know – so far, he has supported Biden on every single flawed policy. So I will not be surprised if he supports this next attempt to make an agreement with Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism throughout the world, an avowed enemy of the United States and Israel that has vowed to destroy Israel. I will always stand with Israel – and the Jewish voters in Connecticut know that. I hope that that is a priority for them.”

Her first visit to Israel was in the summer of 1973. “When I was 16, our synagogue in Charlotte, North Carolina, would take 16-year-olds to Israel for the summer with our youth group,” she said. “I went to Israel for the first time for eight weeks in the summer of 1973. I remember being in the Old City of Jerusalem. And then we traveled Israel from the North to the South; we even spent a week camping out in the Sinai.”

As the Republican National Committee representative from Connecticut, she was one of four RNC members that former president Donald Trump asked to be at the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem. “I still get goosebumps every time I think of that, of being there,” she says. “It was amazing. And I was so honored to be a part of history and to witness history.”