Josh Shapiro for Governor
The board members of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP) announced their “enthusiastic endorsement” of PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro for Governor of Pennsylvania.
Jill Zipin, Chair of DJOP, explained that traditionally the 13-year-old political action committee supports candidates for federal office in general elections. But she said the board determined that the Republican Party’s ongoing assaults on voting rights and reproductive rights of women demonstrate that governors have an increasingly important role in shaping these and other policies.
“Our organization’s mission is to help elect those candidates who best reflect Jewish values, including assisting the less fortunate, treating strangers and foreigners with kindness, and striving for equality for all,” Zipin said.
“These very values have long informed Josh Shapiro’s public service as a state representative, as a Montgomery County Commissioner and most recently as Attorney General,” she added. “Our board was unanimous in agreeing to endorse his candidacy. Many of us have known him for many years and we look forward to playing an active role in his campaign for Governor.”
Zipin said that those DJOP board members who attended Shapiro’s announcement of his gubernatorial candidacy “were very much impressed by his assessment of the serious threat to our values that have become central to the agenda of the Republican party,” including the GOP’s state-by-state drive to eliminate the right to abortion, to restrict voting opportunities and to gerrymander voting districts.
She noted that Shapiro has been consistent and effective in his support for gun safety, reproductive choice and the protection of minors from sexual abuse.
Austin Davis, Lt Governor
Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP) announced its endorsement of St. Rep. Austin A. Davis (D-35th) in the campaign for Lt. Governor.
Jill Zipin, Chair of DJOP, said that she and the organization’s other board members have met with Davis by Zoom “and we came away very much impressed with his energy, his commitment to social justice and his grasp of the issues that are central to DJOP’s values.”
Although the positions of Governor and Lt. Governor are separate votes on the ballot, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro has announced that he is running with Austin as a team. DJOP also has endorsed Shapiro.
“We believe that Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis will deliver an essential victory in November for Democrats and will make a dynamic partnership in Harrisburg to address the challenges facing Pennsylvania,” Zipin said. “We are proud to commit our full support to both of them now in the primary election and going forward.”
Fetterman for US Senate
Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP) endorsed Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in his campaign for the U.S. Senate and congratulated him for his victory in the primary election.
“DJOP is proud to support Lt. Gov. Fetterman on his win in the PA Primary race, and we look forward to working with him for a big victory for all Pennsylvanians in November,” said Jill Zipin, Chair of the political action committee.
“Lt Gov. Fetterman reflects both Democratic and Jewish values,” Zipin said.
“He has shown the ability to connect with the residents of Pennsylvania, and has been an articulate advocate for economic justice, voting rights, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom, strong unions, criminal justice reform and ending the outdated filibuster rule.
“Just as Lt. Gov. Fetterman changed the office of Lt. Governor for the better, he will bring positive change to PA. A vote for John Fetterman in November will be a vote for a better PA and a better America.”
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.”
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.
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:
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.
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).
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.
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!