McKinney Bounced in Primary

By JTA and Forward Staff

Published August 11, 2006, issue of August 11, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Georgia Democrat who has drawn stiff criticism and opposition from pro-Israel activists, lost her primary bid for re-election.

McKinney was defeated Tuesday in a runoff against Hank Johnson, who won 59% of the vote.

The first black woman from Georgia to win a seat in Congress, McKinney has stirred anger among her constituents over a series of controversies, including an altercation earlier this year with a Capitol police officer.

She was first elected to Congress in the safe Democratic district in 1992, but attracted pro-Israel opposition in 2002 after, among other moves, she solicited assistance from a Saudi prince who suggested that American support for Israel created the atmosphere for the September 11, 2001, attacks.

If McKinney loses, it won’t be the first time that pro-Israel activists have contributed to her defeat: In 2002, after a decade in office, she lost the Democratic primary to former judge Denise Majette, who received significant support from Jewish donors nationwide. In the wake of the election, McKinney’s father, longtime Georgia State Rep. Billy McKinney, blamed his daughter’s defeat on the “J-E-W-S” who “bought everybody.”

McKinney reclaimed her seat in 2004 when Majette launched an unsuccessful bid for the Senate.

This time around, pro-Israel activists took notice of the race only after Johnson had forced the runoff and was already favored to win. In the wake of McKinney’s second primary loss in three elections, some observers suggested that she has exhausted her chances for public office.

“It’s the end of her political career,” University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s done some real damage to the notion that she’s got this loyal electorate that she can snap her fingers and mobilize.”

Find us on Facebook!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • 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.