AIPAC-backed candidate poised to defeat J Street-endorsed rival in Democratic race

Major outlets project Glenn Ivey as winner in Maryland’s fourth Congressional district primary contest, overcoming more progressive Donna Edwards

Former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey in a file photo from 2009. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey in a file photo from 2009. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

State prosector Glenn Ivey was projected to have defeated former congresswoman Donna Edwards in the Democratic primary race for Maryland’s fourth Congressional district, which saw unprecedented spending by pro-Israel groups.

Ivey, who received $6 million from AIPAC’s United Democracy Project super PAC, had a 51 to 35 percent lead over Edwards with 68% of the vote counted, which was enough for major networks to call the race in his favor early Wednesday.

Edwards received her own endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as J Street, which spent over $700,000 in the race, largely in ads attacking Ivey for taking money from AIPAC, which endorsed over 120 lawmakers from both parties, including dozens of Republicans who refused to accept the 2020 election results after the January 6 insurrection in the Capitol.

In a statement celebrating Ivey’s victory, AIPAC said “once again, Democratic voters have demonstrated that being pro-Israel is smart policy and smart politics,” adding that “our involvement in the democratic process will continue throughout this election cycle.”

Democratic Majority for Israel, which sits slightly to the left of AIPAC and donated $426,000 to Ivey’s campaign, said, “we’re pleased that Democratic voters in Maryland’s 4th District yesterday chose to look forward by electing a proud progressive pro-Israel African American leader with extensive experience on Capitol Hill and in local government, Glenn Ivey.”

Responding to the results, J Street said the group was “disappointed in the outcome of this race” and was “extremely alarmed by the outrageous amount of money dumped into this Democratic primary campaign by AIPAC, its SuperPAC UDP, and their affiliates.

FILE – Former Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 17, 2014.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“They spent nearly seven million dollars to attack and defeat Donna Edwards… They targeted her for defeat simply for holding principled, mainstream Democratic views about US diplomatic leadership in the Middle East, while their spokespeople baselessly smeared her as ‘anti-Israel.'”

Pro-Israel efforts saw mixed results after pouring millions into the Democratic primaries.

AIPAC’s new political action committee flooded funds into contested races between progressive candidates, who are increasingly critical of Israel, and moderate opponents, who toe a more traditional line backing the Jewish state.

Among the successes was Centrist Democrat Don Davis who comfortably defeated progressive Erica Smith in North Carolina’s 1st District Democratic primary. Davis enjoyed $2.4 million in support from UDP and another $437,000 from DMFI PAC.

Also, AIPAC and DMFI-backed State Senator Valerie Foushee defeated Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, who was the first Muslim elected to North Carolina state office.

And AIPAC and DMFI-backed Morgan McGarvey comfortably won his Democratic primary battle to replace retiring Jewish Rep. John Yarmuth for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district.

On the other hand, State Rep. Summer Lee defeated centrist Steve Irwin, a Jewish attorney from Pittsburgh, for Pennsylvania’s 12th District.

AIPAC spent $2.7 million on Irwin’s behalf and DMFI threw in an additional $403,000.

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