A guide to the Jewish Democratic House candidates in the 2018 midterm elections

36 Jews are running on Democratic ballots for the House, half of them incumbents and several more all but assured victory

(Illustration by Lior Zaltzman/Getty Images/via JTA)
(Illustration by Lior Zaltzman/Getty Images/via JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Among the 36 Jewish Democrats running for the US House of Representatives in November, 18 are incumbents and an equal number are challengers.

Three Jewish Democrats are leaving the House: Sandy Levin of Michigan is retiring, Jacky Rosen of Nevada is running for the Senate and Jared Polis of Colorado is a candidate for governor.

Additionally, two House candidates, both Democrats, have Jewish fathers and say that shaped their outlook, but they do not identify as Jewish. At least four House hopefuls in the party — two incumbents and two new candidates — have a Jewish spouse and are raising their children as Jewish.

JTA is breaking down the races, assessing where the candidates stand on the political spectrum, noting their Jewish involvement and reporting what the forecasters say. You can find a breakdown of the Jewish Republican House candidates here.

These are all of the Democratic House candidates, broken down by state and whether they are incumbents or challengers. (The prospects below are based on the FiveThirtyEight blog unless otherwise noted.)



Susan Davis, 74

53rd District, San Diego area, in Congress since 2001.

Known for: Education advocacy. Top Democrat on the Higher Education subcommittee and was first elected to a school board.

Jewish stuff: She spent time on a kibbutz in her youth (a biographical detail she shares with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont) and worked with Israeli at-risk youth. Davis voted in favor of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Endorsements: J Street

Prospects: Davis has a 99 percent chance of victory in a swing district that she keeps winning by substantial margins.

Alan Lowenthal, 77

47th District, Long Beach area, in Congress since 2013.

Known for: Pothole politics. Rose from Long Beach city councilor to state assemblyman to state senator to the House with a focus on infrastructure and preserving the environment.

Jewish stuff: His son has lived in Israel and is active in the liberal pro-Israel movement. Lowenthal cited his Jewishness in explaining his vote for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. A former deputy spokeswoman, Becca Brukman, founded the Congressional Jewish Staffers Association under Lowenthal’s sponsorship.

Endorsements: J Street

Prospects: 99%. Like Davis, he’s in a swing district that in recent years has become safe Democrat.

Adam Schiff, 58

28th District, Los Angeles County area, in Congress since 2001.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News in Washington, DC, February 16, 2018. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/via JTA)

Known for: Being the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. In that capacity, the former prosecutor is a pervasive talk-show presence, seeking answers about ties between Trump and Russia. The president calls him “Little Adam Schiff,” though Schiff is about 6 feet tall.

Jewish stuff: Before he was a thorn in Trump’s side, Schiff’s highest-profile activism was on behalf of Armenians seeking to get the 1915 Ottoman massacres recognized as a genocide. His district has the highest concentration of Armenian Americans in the country. “I know what it’s like to be part of a people with affinity for a distant country,” he told an Armenian community newspaper this year. Schiff favored the Iran nuclear deal.

Endorsements: Centrist pro-Israel PACs like the Desert Caucus, and JACPAC, the liberal Jewish PAC that also has a focus on domestic issues such as reproductive rights.

Prospects: 100%. In California’s June “jungle primary,” Schiff defeated his Republican revival 73% to 21%. Both are on the ballot on November 6, so expect a repeat performance.

Brad Sherman, 63

30th District, San Fernando Valley area, in Congress since 1997.

Known for: Sherman is the first lawmaker to introduce articles to impeach Trump for obstructing justice, in July 2017.

Jewish stuff: Sherman met his wife of 12 years, Lisa Kaplan, picking up takeout Chinese on Capitol Hill, which is as Jewish Washington as it gets — especially considering she was deputy director of the State Department office monitoring anti-Semitism. Ahead of the 2012 election, when redistricting combined Sherman’s district with the one held by Howard Berman, a longtime Jewish congressman who was much better liked by the party establishment, things got so testy that Sherman put Berman in a headlock at a debate. (Sherman won the election.) Sherman is a darling of the right-wing pro-Israel community, voting against the Iran deal, and was one of the founders of The Israel Project, which makes Israel’s case to the media.

Endorsements: NORPAC, the center-right pro-Israel PAC, and others like it.

Prospects: 99%. Like Schiff, Sherman will face the same opponent he defeated in the June primary 73% to 27%.


Ted Deutch, 52

22nd District, encompassing parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, in Congress since 2010.

Known for: Deutch’s South Florida district includes the Stoneman Douglas High School, where a gunman murdered 17 students and staff earlier this year. He has emerged as an outspoken advocate for gun controls and has pledged to pass measures should Democrats retake Congress.

Jewish stuff: Deutch has been a leader on issues favored by the centrist pro-Israel community, leading an effort to enshrine into law a definition of anti-Semitism that includes some forms of anti-Israel expression. For years he has advocated for tough Iran measures, drafting Florida’s Iran sanctions law when he was in the state Legislature. He voted against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. He is the top Democrat on the House Middle East subcommittee and a member of a House task force on anti-Semitism.

Endorsements: Center-right pro-Israel PACs like Bi-County and Desert Caucus, and JACPAC.

Prospects: 99%.

Lois Frankel, 70

21st District running from Pompano Beach in the north to Delray Beach in the south, in Congress since 2013.

Known for: Taking the lead on women’s issues, particularly reproductive rights. Every woman in the Democratic caucus heeded Frankel’s call to wear white to Trump’s first speech to Congress in February 2017 — a salute, she said, to the suffragettes. She led more than 100 House Democrats in calling on the Senate to delay hearings on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court while the FBI investigated allegations of sexual assault. Her district includes Trump’s winter home, Mar-a-Lago.

Jewish stuff: Frankel voted against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and has joined a number of centrist pro-Israel measures.

Endorsements: JACPAC and center-right pro-Israel PACs like the Florida-based SunPAC.

Prospects: Frankel is running unopposed.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 52

23rd District covering parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties, in Congress since 2005.

Known for: An electric rise and a dramatic fall. Wasserman Schultz, a prodigious fundraiser, was a deputy whip by her sophomore term. She backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential race, but drew close enough to President Barack Obama that in 2011 he anointed her chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Helped lead a get-out-the-vote drive in Florida’s Jewish community that secured the state for Obama in 2012. In Obama’s second term, Wasserman Schultz’s leadership appeared to stagnate, fundraising sagged and she came under fire for appearing to load the 2016 primary debates in Clinton’s favor. A Russia-based hack of the DNC’s emails revealed that Wasserman Schultz and her DNC loyalists despised Clinton’s rival, Bernie Sanders, although they did not take actions against his candidacy. She resigned under pressure during the convention but survived a Sanders-backed challenger in her district.

Jewish stuff: In her first term, Wasserman Schultz passed the law that created Jewish American Heritage Month. At her victory party after winning her second term, headlines about the law featured more prominently than any other first-term accomplishment. She launched her political career as a staffer with the National Jewish Democratic Council. She voted for the Iran deal, but was driven to tears in saying how hard it was for her to make a decision “as a Jewish mother.”

Endorsements: JACPAC

Prospects: 99%.


Jan Schakowsky, 74

9th District, covering parts of Chicago and some of its northern suburbs, in Congress since 1999.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, joins members of MoveOn.org and members of Congress at an event to demand Congress renew an assault weapons ban held at the Capitol, July 12, 2016. (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn.org/via JTA)

Known for: Being a leading progressive in the party. She currently chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ Health Task Force. A fierce defender of the once and possibly future speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who is facing increasing challenges from within the caucus because she is seen as an unpopular drag on Democrats. Schakowsky is chief deputy whip.

Jewish stuff: Schakowsky represents a district with a substantial Jewish population, running along Chicago’s famed lake shore. She was among the first Jewish incumbents to accept the endorsement of J Street, a decision that unleashed a right-wing pro-Israel backlash. Joel Pollak, a Republican who is now a senior editor at Breitbart News, mounted a challenge in 2010 focused mostly on Schakowsky’s alleged Israel heresies, and since then, instead of scoring 70% wins in the liberal district, her victories have been in the 60s. Nonetheless, she credits the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group for creating a space for criticism of Israel within the pro-Israel community. Voted for the Iran deal and boycotted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress against the deal.

Endorsements: JACPAC and (naturally) J Street.

Prospects: 99%.

Brad Schneider, 57

10th District, covering Chicago’s northern suburbs, in Congress since 2017, also from 2013 to 2015.

Known for: Being the moderate Democrat who won the back-and-forth battles for this district with Bob Dold, a moderate Republican. Dold repped the 10th from 2011 to 2013, Schneider from 2013 to 2015, Dold from 2015 to 2017 and then back to Schneider.

Jewish stuff: Schneider has been a lay leader for AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee, and is the kind of pro-Israel Democrat who seeks Republican partners. He joined Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, in introducing a bill that would enhance cooperation between Israeli and US law enforcement. The Jewish voters in the 10th District are more Orthodox and conservative than those in the 9th, so Schneider is a more natural fit. Schneider was not in Congress for the Iran deal vote, but he flew in for Netanyahu’s speech to demonstrate his opposition to the deal.

Endorsements: JACPAC and an array of centrist and right-wing pro-Israel PACs. His pro-Israel fundraising is stunning. Open Secrets reports that at $277,000 it amounts to nearly as much as his Democratic PAC fundraising, $282,000.

Prospects: A lock at 99%, especially with Dold no longer running.


John Yarmuth, 70

3rd District, covering Louisville and environs, in Congress since 2007.

Known for: Being the guy who takes over the Budget Committee if the Democrats win the House. Like many Republicans, Yarmuth frets about the growing deficit. Unlike them, he’s looking for revenue to make it up — rolling back some of the recent tax cuts. He’s among the lawmakers considering Medicare-for-all health care reform, and also says that if Democrats win in November, he’ll want to look at Trump’s tax returns. Yarmuth is the 23rd richest member of the House, owing largely to his family’s investment in the Southern barbecue chain Sonny’s. Voted for the Iran deal.

Jewish stuff: Yarmuth once told an interviewer that he grew up in the Louisville JCC, in its sports programs and youth groups. Initially he was a Reagan Republican, but left the party in part because of the rise of the evangelical right.

Endorsements: J Street.

Prospects: 99%.


Jamie Raskin, 55

8th District, encompassing Washington’s suburbs, in Congress since 2017.

Known for: An expert on the Constitution (he taught at American University), Raskin is seeking legislative means to oust Trump, including enhancing the role of Congress in administering the 25th Amendment, which provides for the removal from office of an unfit president.

Jewish stuff: As a member of the Maryland Senate, Raskin was a leading church-state separationist, which led an atheist group to claim him as one of their own when he won the Democratic primary in 2016. (The victory made Raskin the presumptive congressman in a heavily liberal district. He immediately shot back that while he would continue to champion the rights of atheists, he considered himself “100 percent” and “emphatically” Jewish.) Raskin’s late parents were progressive Jewish royalty: His father, Marcus, was a classical pianist turned philosopher who founded the influential progressive think tank the Institute for Policy Studies, and his mother, Barbara, wrote a notorious roman a clef about 1980s Washington. He was not in Congress to vote on the Iran deal, but defended it while campaigning.

Endorsements: JACPAC, J Street and Our Revolution, the PAC that sprung out of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.

Prospects: Shoo-in.


Josh Gottheimer, 43

5th District, the state’s northernmost, encompassing suburbs of New York and rural areas, in Congress since 2017.

Known for: Wresting the district from right-wing Republican Scott Garrett in the 2016 election. The district had been Republican since before the New Deal and was seen as drifting rightward. Gottheimer won by steering straight to the center, emphasizing his closeness to the Clintons (he was a speechwriter during Bill Clinton’s presidency).

Jewish stuff: Gottheimer’s Jewish constituents include a substantial Orthodox contingent in Teaneck and Englewood, and his pro-Israel politics are accordingly conservative. He went out of his way to say he would have voted against the Iran deal had he been in Congress. This election, a vandal in Gottheimer’s district has defaced a supporter’s home three times with anti-Semitic, pro-Trump graffiti.

Endorsements: JACPAC, center-right pro-Israel PACs like NORPAC, and the centrist Jewish Democratic Council of America.

Prospects: A 29 in 30 chance of becoming a sophomore.


Eliot Engel, 71

16th District, stretching north from the Bronx to Scarsdale in suburban Westchester County, in Congress since 1989.

Known for: Being half of one of the few productive bipartisan partnerships remaining in Congress with Rep. Ed Royce, R-California. Royce and Eliot, respectively the chairman and ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, work closely on crafting legislation. Last month they listed 10 bills that passed committee with support from both parties, including condemnations of repression in Venezuela (Latin America is a focus for Engel), sanctions on Iran and an effort to expand treatment worldwide of HIV. Royce is quitting Congress this year. Engel helped lead congressional advocacy for Kosovo independence, and the country has named a street for him and issued a stamp with his image. Engel also was known for years to be the first congressman to shake the hand of the president walking into the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union (a practice that involved sitting for hours in place). He stopped in 2017 out of revulsion for Trump.

Jewish stuff: Engel frequently visits Israel, and is one of the leading sponsors of Israel and Jewish-related legislation. He voted against the Iran deal.

Endorsements: Center-right pro-Israel PACs like NORPAC.

Prospects: Uncontested.

Nita Lowey, 81

17th District, encompassing parts of Westchester and Rockland counties, in Congress since 1989.

Known for: Lowey for years has been the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, considered one of the most powerful positions in the House. Unusually, she also maintains the top Democratic position on the committee’s foreign operations subcommittee, where she works closely with the Republican chairwoman, Kay Granger of Texas, in another rare instance of bipartisan comity. Lowey also is one of the seven women in the House who stunned the Senate in 1991 by crossing the Capitol, knocking on the door and demanding a hearing for Anita Hill, who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Lowey, with that history very much in mind, reappeared last month at hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in support of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. (Both Thomas and Kavanaugh went on to be confirmed.)

Jewish stuff: Lowey is a regular at mainstream pro-Israel events. One of the reasons she maintained her presence on the foreign operations subcommittee is to continue to wield influence on spending related to the US-Israel relationship. She voted against the Iran deal.

Endorsements: Center-right pro-Israel PACs like Washington PAC.

Prospects: 99%.

Jerrold Nadler, 71

10th District, encompassing Manhattan’s lower West Side and portions of Brooklyn, in Congress since 1992.

Known for: Being the next chairman of the Judiciary Committee should Democrats retake the House. Nadler will have subpoena power to investigate myriad alleged Trump administration improprieties and has said he would consider impeaching Kavanaugh for allegedly lying while under oath during his confirmation hearings.

Jewish stuff: Nadler is centrist pro-Israel, and also has advanced legislation dealing with Holocaust restitution, whether from the Arab world or Nazi-era Europe. He also speaks for imprisoned Jews, having advocated for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and for Jacob Ostreicher, who was held in Bolivia in the early part of this decade. Voted for the Iran deal.

Endorsements: No notable pro-Israel PAC has endorsed Nadler this cycle. In the past he has received money from the center-right Maryland Association for Concerned Citizens.

Prospects: 99%.


Suzanne Bonamici, 63

1st District, in the state’s northwest corner and including part of Portland, in Congress since 2012.

Known for: Education policy. She helped lead passage in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which addressed criticisms that the No Child Left Behind Act passed a decade earlier overemphasized testing.

Jewish stuff: Bonamici did not register on the Jewish radar until February 2017 when she joined every Jewish House Democrat in urging Trump “as Jewish members of Congress” not to sign an executive order that would allow religious organizations to discriminate based on same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion and transgender identity. Unlike most Congress members, she does not list her religion in congressional directories, but JTA checked with her office at the time and a spokeswoman confirmed Bonamici is Jewish. She is married to Michael Simon, a federal judge whose uncle was Neil Simon, the late playwright. Among the couple’s assets are royalties that the judge’s late father Danny Simon received because his brother based the “Odd Couple” character Felix Unger on him. Bonamici voted for the Iran deal.

Endorsements: J Street.
Prospects: 99%.


David Cicilline, 57

1st District, encompassing most of Providence, in Congress since 2011.

Known for: Advocacy of LGBT issues. Cicilline was the first gay mayor of Providence. He also has taken up gun control, introducing legislation that would keep guns from being untraceable and renew the ban on assault rifles.

Jewish stuff: Cicilline has backed center-right pro-Israel legislation, including the Taylor Force Act, which slashed funding to the Palestinians as long as the Palestinian Authority continued payouts to the families of Palestinians captured or killed while attacking Israelis. On a long Israel page on his campaign website, he touts the country’s “commitment to protecting minorities and workers, rejecting discrimination of any kind, and the strong belief in freedom of speech and an impartial judiciary.” He voted for the Iran deal.

Endorsements: JACPAC.

Prospects: 99%.


Steve Cohen, 69

9th District, including most of Memphis, in Congress since 2007.

Known for: Representing a black majority district. Cohen tried unsuccessfully to join the Congressional Black Caucus. He has become a leading progressive in the Democratic caucus. He is the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee’s Constitution subcommittee, and in that capacity introduced articles of impeachment against Trump. He also has an acerbic wit that occasionally gets him into trouble.

Jewish stuff: Cohen was one of J Street’s first Jewish endorsees. In the state Senate in the 1980s, he initiated the legislation that established Tennessee’s Holocaust commission, one of the first such bodies in the United States. He voted for the Iran deal.

Endorsements: J Street.

Prospects: Shoo-in.



Mike Levin, environmentalist

49th District, San Diego coast and north. Republican Darrell Issa is retiring.

Congressional candidate Mike Levin speaks at a campaign rally in Fullerton, California, October 4, 2018. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/via JTA)

Know this: Levin harbors resentment that his grandfather, a World War II veteran, had to change the name of his Los Angeles-area carpet and drapery business from Levin Interiors to Dean Interiors (named after James Dean) because of anti-Semitism. “Somebody who had just served their country, who really taught me about patriotism, couldn’t use their own last name in business,” Levin told his hometown newspaper.

Endorsements: JACPAC, J Street, JDCA, former president Barack Obama — significant because Obama is picking challengers he believes have a chance.

Prospects: It looks like Levin will flip this red district to blue — 538 rates his chances 19 out of 20.


Lauren Baer, international law attorney

18th District stretching north from Palm Beach. Challenging incumbent Republican Brian Mast.

Know this: Baer would be the second openly-declared lesbian elected to Congress. She was an adviser to secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and to UN Ambassador Samantha Power. She has been endorsed by the rabbi who presided at her bat mitzvah.

Endorsements: Besides her rabbi? JACPAC, J Street, Jewish Democratic Council of America, Obama.

Prospects: Weak, a 1 in 8 chance of flipping the seat.

David Holden, financial adviser

19th District on the southwest coast. Challenging incumbent Republican Francis Rooney.

Know this: Holden’s campaign emphasis is on the effect of climate change on the local tourism industry.

Prospects: Very weak, a 1 in 80 shot.

David Shapiro, attorney

16th District covering Florida’s central-west coast, including Sarasota. Challenging incumbent Republican Vern Buchanan.

Know this: Shapiro, who has served on his synagogue board, has stressed preserving the social safety net in an area rich with retirees.

Endorsements: The Human Rights Campaign. His opponent Buchanan has been outspoken in his opposition to LGBT rights.

Prospects: Weak, 1 in 8 chance.


Liz Watson, labor lawyer

9th District stretching south from Indianapolis to the Kentucky border. Challenging incumbent Republican Trey Hollingsworth.

Know this: Watson has the backing of labor unions who want Democrats to win back a district that went big for Trump. She begins her Israel position paper in Hebrew with the “Hineh mah tov” psalm, “How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together.”

Endorsements: J Street, Our Revolution.
Prospects: So-so at 2 in 9 chance.


Andy Levin, labor activist and entrepreneur

9th District covering Detroit’s northern suburbs, running to replace retiring Democrat Sandy Levin, his father.

Know this: Levin’s family has deep roots in Michigan. His father is the dean of congressional Jewish members, serving since 1983, and his uncle, Carl, was the state’s longtime senator. Andy Levin is chair of the Detroit Jews for Justice steering committee.

Endorsements: Jewish Democratic Council of America.

Prospects: Shoo-in.

Elissa Slotkin, former national security official

8th District covering parts of the state’s Southeast, including East Lansing, challenging Republican incumbent Mike Bishop.

Elissa Slotkin. (Elissa Slotkin for Congress/via JTA)

Know this: Slotkin was raised on a farm and has worked for the CIA and the Bush National Security Council. Much of her emphasis has been on preserving Obama-era health care protections, but she has talked about her national security credentials.

Endorsements: Jewish Democratic Council of America, JACPAC, Obama.

Prospects: Looking good, a 5 in 9 chance that Slotkin will flip the district red to blue.


Dean Phillips, entrepreneur

3rd District covering areas and suburbs west of Minneapolis, challenging incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen.

Know this: Phillips’ birth father, Artie Pfefer, was a US Army captain killed in action in Vietnam and never met his son. (His campaign website includes heartbreaking audio of a tape Pfefer sent home describing how much he looked forward to seeing his son.) His mother remarried Edward Phillips, a distillery heir and the son of the original Dear Abby, Pauline Phillips.

Endorsements: Jewish Democratic Council of America, Obama.

Prospects: Very good: 5 in 6 chance of flipping the district.


Dana Balter, professor with a background in disabilities advocacy

24th District in the state’s northwest, fronting on Lake Ontario, challenging incumbent Republican John Katko.

Know this: Balter has said her Holocaust survivor grandparents and her Jewish education helped shape her commitment to help the persecuted.

Endorsements: Unions, Obama, Our Revolution.

Prospects: Not strong, 1 in 6 shot.

Perry Gershon, private equity financier

1st District covering eastern Long Island, challenging Lee Zeldin.

Know this: This race has become a Jewish battle about Trump. Zeldin embraces the president and Gershon reviles him, saying he was instructed at the outset of his career not to touch the debt-ridden businessman, and crediting his political ambitions to a visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he saw an exhibit on the rise of authoritarianism.

Endorsements: J Street.

Prospects: Not strong, 1 in 7 shot.

Max Rose, former nonprofit health care executive

11th District, encompassing Staten Island, challenging incumbent Republican Daniel Donovan.

Know this: Rose, 31, is an Afghanistan war combat veteran who makes his Purple Heart central to his appeal.

Endorsements: JACPAC.

Prospects: Not great, 1 in 4.


Kathy Manning, philanthropist and former immigration lawyer

13th District encompassing Greensboro, challenging incumbent Republican Ted Budd.

Kathy Manning. (Kathy Manning for Congress/via JTA)

Know this: Manning was the first woman to chair the Jewish Federations of North America and the founding chairwoman of Prizmah, the umbrella body for Jewish day schools of all denominations.

Endorsements: JACPAC, Jewish Democratic Council of America.

Prospects: Decent: 2 in 5 chance of winning.


Jill Schiller, consultant to nonprofits and former staffer in the Obama administration’s Office of Management and Budget

2nd District encompassing Cincinnati’s eastern suburbs, challenging incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup.

Know this: She credits Judaism’s “empowerment of strongly female leaders” as fueling her decision to run.

Endorsements: Obama.

Prospects: A long shot at 1 in 20.


Susan Wild, attorney

7th District encompassing the Lehigh Valley, seeking to replace Republican Pat Meehan, who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal.

Know this: Wild was drawn into Jewish activism by her son’s urging her to join Congregation Keneseth Israel in Allentown, a path typical of many parents who register their kids for Jewish activities. She is on the board of directors of the local Jewish federation.

Endorsements: Jewish Democratic Council of America, Obama, JACPAC, Democratic Jewish Outreach PA.

Prospects: Very good, the 7th is a 39 in 40 chance for a Democratic pickup.

Marc Friedenberg, cyber law teacher at Penn State

12th District encompassing State College, challenging incumbent Republican Tom Marino.

Know this: Friedenberg is emphasizing health care reform and the opioid crisis, saying that efforts to roll back Obama-era reforms adversely affect rural areas with older people like his own.

Endorsements: Democratic Jewish Outreach PA.

Prospects: Nil.


Elaine Luria, small-business owner

2nd District encompassing coastal towns and the Norfolk US Navy base, challenging incumbent Republican Scott Taylor.

Know this: Luria is a former Navy commander who organized a Passover seder on an aircraft carrier.

Endorsements: Obama, JACPAC.

Prospects: Not great, 2 in 9 chance of winning.


Kim Schrier, pediatrician

8th District, stretching east and north from Seattle’s exurbs, seeking to replace retiring Republican incumbent Dave Reichert.

Know this: Schrier’s agenda is primarily about health care reform, but she also says that she was moved to run as a Jewish American after the deadly neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

Endorsements: Obama, Jewish Democratic Council of America, J Street.

Prospects: A toss-up. The 538 blog gives Schrier a 4 in 9 chance. Local reporting suggests that the brutal Kavanaugh confirmation swung a traditionally conservative district back toward Republican nominee Dino Rossi after it appeared that Schrier was likely to win.


Dan Kohl, lawyer

6th District running north and west of Milwaukee and including suburbs of Madison, challenging incumbent Republican Glenn Grothman.

Know this: Kohl is a scion of the Kohl family, which established the retail chain and for a long period owned the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team, where Dan Kohl was an executive. His uncle is retired Sen. Herb Kohl, and Dan Kohl helped found the liberal Middle East policy group J Street.

Endorsements: J Street (duh).

Prospects: Not great, 2 in 7 shot.

Here are some other noteworthy tidbits on the midterms:

The year of women?

Of the 56 Jewish candidates in the Senate and the House, 20 are women, including two in the Senate — an incumbent and a challenger; six Democratic incumbents in the House; nine Democratic House challengers (half of the party’s Jewish challengers); and three Republican House challengers.

Inspired by dad

Two women House Democratic challengers, Chrissy Houlahan in Pennsylvania and Kara Eastman in Nebraska, do not identify as Jewish, but each says her Jewish father shaped her outlook as a liberal Democrat.

Three Levins

There are three Levins running: Mike in California and Andy in Michigan, both Democrats, and Naomi in New York, a Republican.

Married to the tribe

Two Democratic House nominees, David Trone in Maryland and Angie Craig in Minnesota, are married to Jewish spouses and have raised their children as Jewish. They join at least two incumbent House Democrats who have done the same: John Sarbanes in Maryland and Rosa DeLauro in Connecticut.

Jew vs. Jew

Three House races pit a Jewish Democrat against a Jewish Republican: Nadler against Naomi Levin in New York; Gershon against Zeldin in New York; and Wasserman Schultz against Joe Kaufman in Florida.

In the states

Four Jews are in gubernatorial races, all Democrats: J.B. Pritzker tops the ticket in Illinois, as does Jared Polis in Colorado. Running for lieutenant governor are Susan Turnbull in Maryland and David Zuckerman in Vermont.

Most Popular
read more: