Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is no closer to having a minyan. The majority leader will remain the sole Jewish member of his party’s caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a generally rough night for Republicans, the party’s top Jewish congressional prospects all went down to defeat to Democrats.
In Ohio, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, a former Marine, failed to unseat Sen. Sherrod Brown. In Hawaii, former Gov. Linda Lingle lost in her Senate bid to Rep. Mazie Hirono.
On New York’s Long Island, businessman Randy Altschuler – seen as the best shot at adding a second Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives – was fended off by Rep. Tim Bishop, who had narrowly beaten Altschuler two years earlier. In a South Florida race pitting two Jewish candidates, Adam Hasner, the former majority leader in the state Senate, was defeated in his congressional bid by Lois Frankel, the former mayor of West Palm Beach.
Jewish Democrats, meanwhile, had cause to celebrate beyond President Obama’s victory.
The House Democratic caucus will feature some new Jewish faces: In Florida, aside from Frankel’s victory, former congressman Alan Grayson – a fiery liberal who had been unseated in the Republican electoral surge in 2010 – won a return ticket to Capitol Hill with his victory in an Orlando-area district. In suburban Chicago, Democratic business consultant and Jewish community activist Brad Schneider unseated first-term Rep. Robert Dold, a Republican. In Southern California, state Sen. Alan Lowenthal took a congressional seat spanning parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties.
In Rhode Island, first-term Rep. David Cicilline, a Jewish Democrat, held on to his seat. His reelection effort had struggled after embarrassing revelations about severe budget problems in Providence, where he previously had served as mayor.