Jewish candidates secure major wins in House, Senate

Boxer and Blumenthal win important Senate seats; Cantor wins re-election House bid; Berkowitz and Cutler lose gubernatorial races.

Eric Cantor (photo credit: Courtesy: United States Congress)
Eric Cantor
(photo credit: Courtesy: United States Congress)
As Republicans captured a majority in the House of Representatives from President Barack Obama's Democrats and secured major gains in the Senate on Tuesday, Jewish candidates from both sides of the political spectrum also saw some impressive victories.
Popular New York Senator Charles Schumer pulled in double the votes of Republican challenger Jay Townsend, handily winning his reelection bid with 65.5% of the vote compared to Townsend's 32.9%.
California Senator Barbara Boxer (D) won her re-election bid as well, pulling in 50.1 percent of the vote compared to 44.2% for former Hewlett Packard executive Carly Fiorina.
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Former Connecticut state attorney-general Richard Blumenthal maintained a strong lead over Linda McMahon of WWE wrestling fame, winning the state's open Senate seat with 53.6% of the vote compared to 44.8. In an election year with much of the American media discussing the large amounts of anonymous private and corporate donations being used to influence election campaigns, perhaps it was no surprise to see Russ Feingold, the veteran democratic senator and advocate of campaign finance reform from Wisconsin, fall behind his Republican challenger Ron Johnson. Feingold pulled in 47.1% of the vote compared to Johnson's 51.9%.
One of a small but growing number of Jewish Republican candidates, Virginia Representative and House Whip Eric Cantor won his re-election bid with nearly double the votes, pulling in 59.4% compared to 34.1% for Democratic challenger Rick Waugh.
The 2010 elections also saw some Jewish candidates seeking to capture their state's highest office, although their efforts proved unsuccessful.
In an interesting race, Alaskan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ethan A. Berkowitz was projected to lose Wednesday, pulling in 38.3% of the vote compared to Sean Parnell's 59% with 82% of precincts reporting.
During a year in which many Americans have expressed discontent with both the Democratic and Republican parties, Maine's Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler maintained second place in the elections, trailing slightly behind Republican candidate Paul LaPage. Cutler is projected to lose with 36.7% compared to LaPage's 37.9% with 89% of precincts reporting.
All told, by The Jerusalem Post's count, at least eight Jews ran for seats in the US Senate, 23 for the House and two for state governorships.
Here are the results for other Jewish candidates who were bidding for seats in the House and Senate:
- Arizona: Rodney Glassman (D), lost with 34.6% compared to 59.2%
- Colorado: Michael Bennet (D), won with 47.5% compared to 47.1%
- Ohio: Lee Fisher (D), lost with 39% compared to 57.3%
- New Hampshire: Paul Hodes (D), lost with 36.5% compared to 60.4%
- New York: Charles Schumer (D), won with 65.5% compared to 32.9%
- Arizona: Gabrielle Giffords (D), won with 48.6% compared to 47.6%
- Florida: Alan Grayson (D), lost with 38.2% compared to 56.2%                 Ron Klein (D), lost with 45.7% compared to 54.3%
- Illinois: Jan Schakowsky (D), won with 65.9% compared to 31.5%
- Kentucky: John Yarmuth (D), won with 54.5% compared to 44.1%
- Massachusetts: Barney Frank (D), won with 53.9% compared to 43.4%
- Nevada: Shelley Berkley (D), won with 61.7% compared to 35.3%
- New Jersey: John Adler (D), lost with 47.2% compared to 50.1%                        Steve Rothman (D), won with 60.4% compared to 38.3%
- New York: Eliot Engel (D), won with 70.7% compared to 24.6%                     Steven Israel (D), won with 56.6% compared to 42.6%                     Nita Lowey (D), won with 61.8% compared to 38.2%                     Anthony Weiner (D), won with 58.5% compared to 41.5%                     Randy Altschuler (R), lost with 49.1% compared to 50.9%                     Gary Ackerman (D), won with 62.4% compared to 36.9%
- Pennsylvania: Allyson Shwartz (D), won with 56.4% compared to 43.6%
- Rhode Island: David Cicilline (D), won with 50.6% compared to 44.6%
- Tennessee: Steve Cohen (D), won with 74% compared to 25.1%
- Wisconsin: Steve Kagen (D), lost with 45.1% compared to 54.9%