U.S. Jewish House battles recounted

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON (JTA and CCJN) — The voters have spoken and several key races with Jewish candidates involved are now resolved. First in California it was a question of which Jew would prevail. Two veteran pro-Israel lawmakers fought an often ugly battle in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley following a redistricting plan. After all the results were tallied, Rep. Brad Sherman soundly defeated fellow veteran California Democrat Rep. Howard Berman to remain in Congress. Sherman took 60.5 percent of the vote to Berman’s 39.5 percent. Berman’s influential position as ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is now up for grabs, and Sherman has said he would vie for it.

Meanwhile, Jewish Democrats Lois Frankel and Alan Grayson won congressional seats in Florida. Frankel, 64, a former member of the Florida House and an ex-mayor of West Palm Beach, defeated Adam Hasner, a former majority leader in the Florida state Senate who also is Jewish, on Tuesday.

Grayson, 54, the fiery liberal who had been unseated in the Republican electoral surge in 2010, returned to the House by defeating Todd Long in a newly created Orlando-area district.

And in other news of Jewish interest, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach lost his bid for a congressional seat from New Jersey. The Orthodox rabbi, author and media personality was defeated handily in his effort to unseat Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat. Boteach mounted a longshot run as a Republican in the heavily Democratic northeastern New Jersey district. Pascrell had defeated a fellow congressman, Steve Rothman, in a redistricting-induced party primary.

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