Rep. Steve Rothman Loses as Boteach Gets GOP Nod

Bill Pascrell Will Take On Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in November

By JTA

Published June 06, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), a veteran Jewish member of the U.S. House of Representatives, lost his primary election bid against another incumbent, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.).

Rothman, who has served the 9th district in northeastern New Jersey since 1997, conceded late Tuesday night. He said he would not run for political office in the foreseeable future.

Pascrell now faces celebrity author Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who won the Republican nomination on Tuesday.

The decennial redrawing of New Jersey districts prompted Rothman to move in order to run in the redrawn 9th district against Pascrell, rather than face a popular Republican, Scott Garrett, in the 5th district, where his old home is now located. Pascrell’s old district was the 8th, but with the redrawing, his residence is now in 9th.

Rothman had hoped for a win because much of the redrawn 8th covered his old 9th district.

The race with Pascrell devolved into bitter exchanges, with Rothman staking out more liberal ground on issues like immigration and abortion.

Israel featured large in the race.

Pascrell refused to denounce some Arab-American activists who made an issue of Rothman’s pro-Israel record, and some Rothman surrogates accused Pascrell of not showing sufficient support for the state, for instance in signing a 2010 letter criticizing the blockade of the Gaza Strip by Egypt and Israel.

Rothman was seen as an important pro-Israel player because of his position on the armed services subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

He had helped pass increased funding for Israel’s missile defenses.

The National Jewish Democratic Council said it was “saddened” by Rothman’s loss.

“He has done a remarkable amount to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel, and has been a leader on a number of domestic issues.” NJDC said in a statement. We thank him for his 16 years of service to his country and constituents, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. We also congratulate Representative Bill Pascrell on tonight’s win, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”


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!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "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.”
  • 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.