Jewish Democrats endorse four candidates in midterms

WASHINGTON — Today, the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), which is the voice for Jewish Democrats representing socially liberal, pro-Israel values, has announced its first round of endorsements for the 2018 midterm elections.

JDCA is endorsing Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) for re-election; Rep. Jacky Rosen in her campaign to represent Nevada in the Senate; and two challengers for the House, Sean Casten for Illinois District 6 and Dean Phillips for Minnesota District 3.

Each of these candidates supports the Jewish values that JDCA promotes, and is running in a state or district where the Jewish community will play a meaningful role in determining the outcome of the race.

“As we reviewed races throughout the country, we considered in particular those where JDCA’s efforts and support could have the greatest impact on the Jewish vote,” said Ron Klein, JDCA chairman. “In the coming months, we will be announcing other endorsements as we do our part in the fight to take back the House and Senate, and to hold President Trump and Republicans in Congress accountable.”

These endorsements are in races considered very competitive in the midterm elections. Nelson is facing a contested re-election in Florida, with Cook Political Report labeling his campaign against Republican Gov. Rick Scott as a toss-up. With more than 600,000 Jewish Floridians, the Jewish vote can certainly make the difference in November.

In Nevada, Jacky Rosen faces incumbent Republican Dean Heller, who is widely seen as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the Senate. Rosen, a former synagogue president, will look toward Nevada’s more than 75,000 Jews to help her defeat Senator Heller.

Sean Casten has built a strong campaign operation and is challenging Illinois incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam in a race in a state where President Donald Trump is very unpopular.

Dean Phillips, a successful businessman and philanthropist, is mounting a serious campaign against incumbent Erik Paulsen in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District, which is poised to send a Democrat to Congress for the first time since the Kennedy administration.

“Both Democratic and Republican leaders expect there will be dozens of races decided by the slimmest of margins,” said Klein. “In some of these races, the Jewish vote may be the decisive factor impacting the outcome of the election. We saw that in Conor Lamb’s special election race in Pennsylvania, where the JDCA worked to turn out the district’s 11,000 Jewish voters, and the margin of victory was 627 votes. The Lamb race is an example of how the Jewish community will help bring about victory for Democrats in November,” said Klein.