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!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • 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.