Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Summer Lee, progressive opposed by AIPAC oppositional funding, appears to win Penn. House seat

The pro-Israel lobby had spent $1 million against the progressive Democrat

(JTA) – Summer Lee, a progressive Democrat House candidate in Pennsylvania who was opposed by pro-Israel lobbying giant AIPAC, was projected to handily beat her Republican opponent Mike Doyle in the Pittsburgh-area 12th Congressional district, in the midterm election’s only major test of pro-Israel outside campaign spending. 

Lee held more than 58% of the vote with 74%of votes reported, and most major outlets called the race for her in a district that had been heavily favored Democratic.

Lee was the only candidate in the midterm general election to draw oppositional spending from United Democracy Project, a political action committee affiliated with AIPAC; they spent around $1 million in an attempt to oppose her, a move that drew ire from progressive Democrats. The PAC had spent handily in various primary races to back their preferred pro-Israel candidates, mostly in Democrat-on-Democrat races, but it had largely refrained from spending in the general, with Lee’s case being a major exception.

Lee did not make Israel a central issue during her campaign and has said she would defend its status as a Jewish state, but she had authored tweets comparing Israel to George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in 2012. AIPAC said she held “dangerous views of the US-Israel alliance.”

The editor of the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle said that the paper had tried numerous times to obtain a sit-down interview with Lee but were ultimately only sent written answers to their questions.

This article originally appeared on


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.