National Roundup

Kagen Wins in Wisconsin

By Jennifer Siegel, JTA

Published September 15, 2006, issue of September 15, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Democratic quest to take back the House of Representatives this November will rest, in part, on Steve Kagen, the victor in a crowded Democratic primary in Wisconsin’s eighth congressional district.

Kagen, 56, a Jewish doctor from the city of Appletown, handily won Tuesday’s three-way contest, garnering 47% of the vote with 87% of precincts reporting, according to unofficial returns that became available Wednesday morning.

In the general election, he will challenge Republican state representative John Gard for an open seat that will be vacated by Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green.

Although the district leans Republican, both major parties are eyeing the seat for November.

Before the primary, the National Republican Congressional Committee ran ads criticizing Kagen, a wealthy owner of allergy clinics who has lent $1.4 million to his own campaign, for suing 80 of his patients. Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has begun airing commercials attacking Gard for his ties to “big oil.”

Cardin Takes Maryland Vote

Veteran Rep. Ben Cardin was the victor in Tuesday’s 18-way Democratic primary for the Maryland Senate seat held by retiring Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes. With 93% of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Cardin had captured 46% of the vote, with his closest rival, Kweisi Mfume, former congressman and past leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, at 38%. At press time, Mfume had not officially conceded the race.

One of Baltimore’s best-known Jewish figures, Cardin will face Republican Lieut. Gov. Michael Steele, an African American, in November. While a Rasmussen Reports poll shows Cardin edging out Steele 45%-40% in a general election contest.

From Vermont to Arizona

Kagen and Cardin were not the only Jewish winners Tuesday.

Two Jewish Democrats in Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords and Ellen Simon, won their primaries. Rep. Bernie Sanders, an independent, comfortably won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in Vermont, and Eliot Spitzer, New York’s attorney general, came one step closer to the governor’s mansion by picking up the Democratic nomination easily.

Douglas Gansler won the Democratic nomination for attorney general in Maryland.

Tight Races in Brooklyn

In the conclusion of a racially divisive Democratic primary in Brooklyn, a Jewish city council member, David Yassky, lost to a black city council member, Yvette Clarke, one of three African American candidates who sought to represent New York’s 11th congressional district.

With all precincts reporting, Clarke garnered 31% of the vote to Yassky’s 26%. State Senator Carl Andrews had 23%, and Christopher Owens, son of retiring incumbent Rep. Major Owens, finished with 20%.

Yassky, who raised significantly more money than his competitors, faced sharp criticism for moving his residence several blocks in order to run in the district, which is 60% African American. Yassky’s detractors accused him of hoping to capitalize from a split black vote.

Clarke had faced criticism when it came to light that she had lied about graduating from college. On election day, some Brooklyn neighborhoods were reportedly blanketed with fliers that claimed she had dropped out of the race because of the revelation.

Also in Brooklyn, Alec Brook-Krasny, 48, prevailed over fellow Russian Jewish immigrant Ari Kagan 51%-49% in the Democratic primary for New York’s 46th district state Assembly seat. Due to the district’s heavily Democratic electorate, Brook-Krasny is expected to sail to victory in November.

While the primary marks the arrival of recent Russian Jewish immigrants on the American political scene, the race often had been a rancorous one, with Brook-Krasny accusing Kagan of ties to the KGB, and the 39-year-old Kagan — who worked for the Russian-language Forward newspaper for a decade — countering that Brook-Krasny supported the increasingly authoritarian Vladimir Putin.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight":
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here:
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • 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.