Recipe for Jewish Republican Success

Florida Senate Hopeful Adam Hasner Taps Tea Party Rhetoric

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published January 27, 2012, issue of February 03, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Adam Hasner has a novel recipe for Republican electoral success: mixing a conservative Tea Party platform with mainstream Jewish financial support.

Adam Hasner
courtesy of adam hasner
Adam Hasner

The U.S. Senate hopeful from Florida is riding a fast-growing wave of Jewish influence in the Republican Party, which hopes to dramatically expand its electoral support among Jews nationwide, particularly in Florida.

On a national level, there is only one Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives and none in the Senate. Hasner, 42, a former majority leader of the Florida House of Representatives, hopes to change that.

“I represent an emerging group of leaders within the Jewish community who are conservatives, not just fiscal conservatives but social conservatives as well,” Hasner said, sitting outside a Panera Bread restaurant in a shopping center near his campaign headquarters in Boca Raton.

Read Josh Nathan-Kazis’s report on the state of the Jewish vote in Florida’s Republican primary, and why Democrats care, too.

Hasner’s campaign for the Republican nomination to face off with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson matches an appeal to a conservative GOP base with deep ties to Jewish Republican donors around the country.

Hasner argues that there is a growing ideological overlap between the conservative Republican base and Jewish voters, particularly on foreign policy. Though some Tea Party-affiliated Republicans have called for less federal spending on foreign aid, Hasner said most back a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

“There is a strong sentiment within the Tea Party that favors a stronger America on the global stage, and with that comes a strong alliance with the State of Israel,” Hasner said.

A self-described lifelong Republican, Hasner was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. He attends a Chabad synagogue.

Hasner opposes abortion and gay marriage, and he has positioned himself to the right of the Republican opponents he will face in an August 14 primary.

But though he speaks at Tea Party events, he also maintains close ties with the Republican Jewish Coalition, a mainstream national organization. His wife, Jillian, a political consultant, is a former executive director of the organization’s Florida branch. And Hasner was Florida chairman for Jewish outreach for both the 2004 Bush campaign and the 2008 McCain campaign.

Hasner has portrayed himself as an opponent of what he calls the threat posed by Islamic law, an issue popular with some right-wing Jews and conservative Republicans. “My concern is both as a Jew and as an American who believes in the foundational Judeo-Christian values, that we need to fight for the survival of Western civilization, and Sharia is not compatible with Western civilization,” Hasner told the Forward.

Hasner’s conservative Republican support and his Jewish support have each bolstered his campaign in different ways. His RJC ties have taken him on fundraising trips to Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota and California. Meanwhile, his support from the conservative base helped him win a straw poll at a CPAC Florida convention in September, a local gathering of conservatives, that was a high point of his campaign so far.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.