At the national level, Jews did well in the Congressional elections.
All Jewish incumbents won, including Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is now an Independent from Connecticut. In January, there will be two new Jewish Senators: Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bernie Saunders (I-VT). In addition, there will be at least six new Jewish members of the House: Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), Steve Kagen (D-Wisc.), Ron Klein (D-Fla.), and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.). In addition, there may be one more Jewish member, as Gary Trauner�s Wyoming race has not been called.
The undisputed stars of yesterday�s election results are two Jews: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the chairs of the Senate and House Democratic campaign committees. As of this writing, the House will be Democratic and its leadership will include a number of Jewish chairmen of committees: Bob Filner will chair the Veterans Affairs Committee; Barney Frank (D-Mass.) the Financial Services Committee; Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), the International Relations Committee; and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the Government Reform Committee. In addition, if he so chooses, Howard Berman (D-Calif.) will chair the Standards on Official Conduct (Ethics Committee), and Jane Harman (D-Calif.), currently the senior Democrat on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, may chair that committee, although that is uncertain. Rahm Emanuel may well move into a new position in the House Democratic leadership. He has said he will not remain in the lead position on the DCCC.
On the Senate side, Carl Levin (D-Mich.) will serve as either Chair or Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will likely become the senior Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. Joe Lieberman is currently the senior Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Given what transpired in his Senate race, if the Democrats win the Senate (with Lieberman caucusing as a Democrat), it is unclear whether he will become chair of the committee, which historically takes the lead in administration investigations. In addition, Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) is currently the senior Democrat on the Special Committee on Aging. Finally, Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) will remain as the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Chuck Schumer is receiving strong encouragement from his colleagues to remain as the chair of the DSCC. �
There will now be three Jewish governors. Ed Rendell (D-Penn.) and Linda Lingle (R-Hi.) retained their seats and Elliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) won his election. Douglas Gansler (D-Md.), a Jew from Montgomery County, will be the next attorney general for Maryland.
Senior Director for Government Affairs
United Jewish Communities