Elections

DJOP praises Biden’s ‘historic’ VP selection

Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP) today endorsed what it called Vice President Joseph Biden’s “historic move” in naming US Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate for Vice President.

“Sen. Harris represents the diversity of the Democratic party,” said Jill Zipin, chair of DJOP.  “She reflects our Jewish values as shown through her commitment to immigrants, affordable healthcare and a more just society.  Together Joe Biden and Sen. Harris will restore decency and intelligence to the White House.”

Zipin said that Harris’ support of Israel and the Jewish people has been “unwavering.”

“She has been to Israel on numerous occasions and supports a two-state solution to achieve peace.,” Zipin said.  “Moreover, she believes Israel never should become a partisan issue.

Zipin cited Sen. Harris’ comments about Israel:

“Israel is a critical friend and ally to the United States.  I stand with Israel both because of our shared values, which are so fundamental to the founding of both our nations, and because I believe the bonds between the people of the United States and the people of Israel are unbreakable and we can never let anyone drive a wedge between us.”

Noting that Sen. Harris’ husband is Jewish, Zipin said, “How wonderful it is that our first second gentleman will be Jewish.”

DJOP proudly endorses Joe Biden for President

The Democratic Jewish Outreach PA (DJOP) today endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for President.

Jill Zipin, Chair of the DJOP board, said she and her colleagues made an exception to their practice of not endorsing in primary campaigns “because each of us supports Joe Biden and we know him well as a decent, compassionate leader who shares our values on a range of domestic issues, including education, gun safety, health care and women’s reproductive rights – as well as being a consistent, reliable and strong friend of Israel. Zipin said:

“We urgently need a unified, effective campaign to defeat the misplaced policies, lies, scandals and bigotry that are part of everyday life in the Trump administration.

“A unified Democratic Party is essential to restoring responsible domestic policies and rebuilding America’s standing with her partners around the world. It also is important to save and build on the Democratic majority in the US House of Representatives and to capture a Democratic majority in the US Senate.”

Zipin said that the members of the DJOP board recognize the dedication of supporters of other candidates in the primary election.

“Our party has room for differences of opinion on policies and strategies,” she said. “But their price cannot be ‘my way or the hi-way’ or another four years of the dangerous and narcissistic bully in the White House.”

The DJOP is a federal political action committee formed in 2008 to support progressive candidates and legislation and sponsor programs on contemporary issues.

The members of the DJOP Board are David Broida, William Epstein, Brett Goldman, Adam Kessler, Dina Lichtman, Martin Raffel, Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom, Nina Rosenthal, Burt Siegel and Jill Zipin.

2018 Election Results

DJOP and the Democratic Party had a very successful election season. The party took control of the House of Representatives. In Pennsylvania, many of DJOP’s endorsed candidates won their respective races. Bob Casey won his seat in the United States Senate and in Congress the following endorsed candidates won:

  • Brendan Boyle
  • Dwight Evans
  • Madeleine Dean
  • Mary Gay Scanlon
  • Chrissy Houlahan
  • Susan Wild
  • Conor Lamb

2018 Primary Results

In the primary Governor Wolf and Senator Casey were uncontested and won their primary races. Senator Casey garnered more Democratic votes than any other Democratic candidate in the state. This bodes well for the fall. John Fetterman was the winner in a hotly contested Lieutenant Governors race. He will be running with Governor Wolf in the November election. In the congressional races many Democratic woman won their primaries and this may finally be the year of the woman! 

Some of the more significant Congressional race results:

PA-1 Scott Wallace will face Fitzpatrick.

PA-2 and PA -3 Both Brendan Boyle and Dwight Evans easily won their primaries.

PA 4 Madeleine Dean decisively won this district and will face GOP Davis in the fall.

PA-5: Mary Gay Scanlon won the Democratic primary and will face Republican Pearl Kim.

PA-6: Democrat Chrissy Houlahan and Republican Greg McCauley had no opposition in their primaries and will be running against each other in the fall.

PA-7: Susan Wilde won (the only Democratic Jewish female candidate) and will face Republican Marty Nothstein in the general.

PA-08: John Chrin won the Republican primary in the new 8th Congressional district. He will face Democrat Matt Cartwright in the fall.

PA-17:  Incumbent Democratic Congressman Conor Lamb and incumbent Republican Keith Rothfus against each other in the general election

PA-18: Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle defeated primary challenger Janis Brooks and does not face a Republican opponent in the general.

2017 Primary Election

The 2017 Primary Election is on Tuesday, May 16, less than two days away. (Stop cringing.) This year’s election cycle focuses on township and borough offices, such as commissioners, council members, and school board members, and county and state judges, including a seat on the PA Supreme Court. In addition, two justices already on the PA Supreme Court will be facing retention elections, one Democrat and one Republican; the retention elections will appear on the General Election ballot (November 7, 2017).

⇒ To sign up for DJOP’s email list, click here.

While races like these might not seem as important as a presidential or gubernatorial race, the positions at stake this year do have significant effects on our lives. Here’s one example. All of us are aware of the egregious gerrymandering of legislative districts in PA. But relief might be in sight. Our state legislative and Congressional districts will be redrawn after the 2020 Census. The PA Supreme Court plays a crucial role in the redistricting of state legislative districts. Democrats currently control the court, five justices to two. But a switch of only two justices would change the balance of power and make it very difficult for the Democratic Party to re-gain control of the PA Senate and House for the decade that follows.

That’s why we at DJOP urge you to circle May 16 on your calendar and make plans to vote. We know what you’re thinking: “Why bother showing up for a primary election? Won’t most candidates be running unopposed?” That’s not entirely true. First off, there are  contested races on the Democratic primary ballot in most municipalities. So, your vote is needed to make sure we select the best candidates.

Beyond that, there is the odd practice of cross-filing to consider. In PA, candidates running for local judicial positions (e.g., County Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Municipal Court) and local school boards are allowed to run in both the Democratic and Republican primaries, if they gather enough signatures from members of each party on their nominating petitions. This means that if a candidate wins both the Democratic and Republican primaries in a local judicial or school board race, he or she is virtually guaranteed to win in the general election. So, if enough Democrats don’t show up on May 16, it’s possible we won’t have a Democratic choice in some races in the November 7 General Election.

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And lastly, the Primary Election is the first opportunity Pennsylvania Democrats will have to send a direct message to President Trump and the GOP. Do you want them to see how upset and determined Democrats are, or do you want to send them the message that not much has changed with our party? If it’s the former, show the President and his party that there is no such thing as an “off-year” election. Get out there and vote!

Tips:

  • If you have questions about where you polling place is, click here. If you want to preview the ballot you’ll be seeing at your polling place on Election Day, you can visit the website of the Voter Services office in your county. Click here to find the right resource in your county.
  • Keep in mind that Pennsylvania is a closed primary state. This means only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary, and vice versa. Members of third-parties may only vote if their party is having a primary.
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