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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Republican’

GOP Hopes N.Y. Rematch Puts Second Jewish Republican In House

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

WASHINGTON – Jewish Republicans nationwide are hoping a heated congressional race rematch in the New York suburbs puts a second Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives.

Following a narrow 593-vote defeat two years ago to Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Jewish businessman Randy Altschuler again is running against the incumbent in New York’s 1st Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Suffolk County.

“There’s not a huge Jewish community, but there certainly are Jews in the district and whenever there are Jews present in a close race like this, the Jewish vote can play an outsized role,” said David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Observers also are watching closely since the district is known for a tendency to swing its presidential vote, favoring Barack Obama in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004. The recent round of redistricting has left the district relatively unchanged, with 35,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, according to the Long Island Press.

The campaign differs substantially from the most recent New York race that drew national Jewish focus. Last year, Republican Bob Turner bested Democrat David Weprin in the race to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) in the heavily Jewish 9th District. Dissatisfaction among Jewish voters over President Obama’s support for Israel was a major issue in that campaign while jobs seem to be the focus in the rematch.

The 1st District race might not have that strong a Jewish flavor, but the potential for Altschuler to join House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as the second Jewish Republican in Congress is significant, according to Matthew Brooks, director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

“I think he [Altschuler] will be a common sense leader who is a proven, successful businessman and understands how the economy works,” he said. “He knows how to create jobs and obviously as a Jewish Republican he is a strong, passionate and articulate defender of Israel.”

Altschuler apparently has a tough fight ahead of him: a recently released poll by the Bishop campaign showed its candidate with a 17-point lead over the likely challenger.

Altschuler is one of several Jewish Republicans drawing attention from RJC supporters. Others include Adam Hasner, competing for a House seat in the Florida delegation, and former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel, both vying for Senate spots.

Altschuler, who has family living in Israel, said his support for the Jewish state has a “personal element to it.”

For his part, Bishop told JTA, “Maintaining our relationship with Israel is crucial to stability in the Middle East.”

Like many areas, Suffolk County has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Yet, it has recently seen a decrease in unemployment. Since February, when the unemployment rate reached 8.3 percent, the level there has dropped to 7.5 percent.

“My focus is on strengthening the middle class and I think the people of this district – as well as the people of this country – are going to be presented with a real choice and there are two conflicting visions of how you achieve economic stability,” Bishop said, noting he will continue to concentrate on sustaining the middle class.

Altschuler has released a 10-point jobs plan that outlines ways to jumpstart Long Island’s economy. It calls for finding ways to reform and simplify the tax code, cutting taxes, easing regulations on small businesses, and providing tax credits to businesses hiring veterans.

In 2010, Altschuler was criticized for outsourcing jobs from his business support services company, Office Tiger, to India and Sri Lanka. Surrogates for Bishop are taking up the charge once again.

“Randy Altschuler made a fortune outsourcing American jobs to India and Sri Lanka, and now he’s running for Congress to lower his own taxes and the taxes of other millionaires and billionaires,” Suffolk County Democratic Committee Chairman Rich Schaffer said in a statement. “That doesn’t play well in Suffolk County.”

Altschuler countered that he “created over a thousand jobs in America and I’ve created jobs around the world because I have an international business.”

Altschuler believes that campaign adjustments he’s made this time will make the difference.

In the 2010 race, he was ahead on election night by 3,400 votes, but would lose one month later after a recount. The lack of an absentee ballot program in his campaign made the difference, he said.

McCain Reportedly Considering Jewish Congressman For VP Slot

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

The political world was abuzz this week with the news that Rep. Eric Cantor, the chief deputy minority whip in the House of Representatives and that body’s lone Jewish Republican, was being seriously considered by Sen. John McCain as his vice-presidential running mate.

According to CNN, Fox News, the Associated Press, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and a number of other media outlets, the McCain campaign asked the Virginia Republican for personal information and documents – usually an indication that some serious vetting is afoot.

Cantor, 45, has in recent months put his widely praised fund-raising talents to work for the McCain campaign. He’s also been a frequent guest on cable news shows touting McCain’s positions on a variety of issues and he serves as co-chairman of McCain’s Jewish outreach efforts.

One of Israel’s strongest champions in Congress, Cantor chaired the Republican task force on terrorism and unconventional warfare, and has been outspoken in his praise of President Bush’s support of the Jewish state. (Daniel Cantor Wultz, the Florida teenager killed by a suicide bomber while visiting Israel in 2006, was Cantor’s cousin.)

Earlier this year Cantor criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her claim that Bush’s Mideast policies were detrimental to Israel. “There is near unanimity in those who are interested in the U.S.-Israel relationship,” he said, “that this has been the best president Israel has had in the White House.”

Both Cantor’s office and the McCain campaign have refused to comment on the vice-presidential rumors. While most political pros still consider it something of a longshot that Cantor will be selected as McCain’s running mate, Politico’s list of remaining GOP vice-presidential contenders includes Cantor, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a former congressman, White House budget director and U.S. trade ambassador.

Politico’s Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin describe Cantor as “a young fiscal conservative who could help keep Virginia from tipping blue” – a reference to the changing political profile of a state that has long a Republican stronghold in presidential elections.

Cantor, they add, “could also be an asset in battlegrounds such as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He has shown appeal to the party’s base as well as to independents, and would be an unconventional choice at a time when McCain is looking to add excitement to his campaign.”

Allen and Martin also note that the prominent evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, “recently praised Cantor as a potential McCain running mate, calling him rock-solid on social issues – a huge concern for Christian conservatives with the maverick McCain at the top of the ticket.

Virginia Republican strategist Chris LaCivita told Politico that “McCain needs to do something different” and, pointing to Cantor’s youth, skills as a fund-raiser, and strong ties to the business community as well as to conservative activists, said Cantor “fits all the bills.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Susan Davis reported that talk of Cantor’s vice-presidential prospects picked up after Cantor and his wife Diana, a managing director of the New York Private Bank & Trust investment firm, had a private lunch in mid-July with McCain at the Hamptons home of businessman Ron Perelman.

Cantor was first elected to Congress from Virginia’s 7th District in 2000 and has since become one of the state’s most popular politicians, easily winning reelection in 2002, 2004 and 2006. The Richmond Times-Dispatch described him as having become “indispensable” in Washington.

A graduate of George Washington University, William and Mary Law School and Columbia University (where he earned a master’s degree in real estate), Cantor got his start practicing law at his family’s Richmond-based real estate company.

According to his entry in The Almanac of American Politics, Cantor in 1991 “was elected to the first of five terms in Virginia’s House of Delegates.When Congressman Tom Bliley announced his retirement in 2000Cantor entered the race.”

Once in Washington, Cantor enjoyed what the Almanac terms “a meteoric rise to [party] leadership.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/news-magazine/mccain-reportedly-considering-jewish-congressman-for-vp-slot/2008/08/06/

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