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National Democratic Jewish Group Makes Push in Virginia

Rosalind Helderman

The National Jewish Democratic Council launched a major push Thursday in Virginia, its largest ever in the commonwealth, the organization said. The group will send at least three paid organizers to the state, including one based at the University of Virginia focusing on students, and is also organizing a Virginia Volunteer Corps. There will also be literature drops, phone calls and other grass-roots canvassing.

NJDC Political Director Linda Berg said the group's members were excited by Virginia's turning blue last year and determined to keep the state in the Democratic column this year -- particularly given the national attention on Virginia as harbinger of the 2010 midterm elections.

There are two other factors at play.

The first is that Republican Bob McDonnell's association with conservative social causes could be upsetting to some Democratic-leaning Jewish voters.

"I think Jewish voters are extremely concerned with civil rights, civil liberties, women's rights and a woman's right to choose," Berg said. "There's a stark contrast between the two candidates. Voters don't necessarily know about that."

Plus, Jody Wagner, who used to be the head of Jewish Family Services in the Virginia Beach area, would be Virginia's first Jewish statewide elected official if elected lieutenant governor, a fact that could generate particular interest with Jewish voters.

Berg said the group was "very excited" about Wagner's candidacy.

How much of a difference could the outreach make? It's hard to say, but according to Berg, there are an estimated 100,000 Jews in Virginia, a number that could be meaningful in a close race.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 15, 2009; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Five Va. Governors Sit Down for a Chat
Next: Updated: Wagner, Bolling Report Fundraising


Jews who vote democrat are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. Best of luck to you..

Posted by: SMWE357 | October 15, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Democrats hate and despise Israel.

True Jews would vote for Republicans who stand up for Israel's right to exist.

Posted by: LdSentinal | October 15, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

****As a Jewish Virginian, let me confirm that you are both complete morons.****

More like a self-hating Jew Virginian in denial.

Posted by: LdSentinal | October 15, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Given the other comments here, I didn't think it needed saying, but apparently it does:

Most Jews are Democrats, both nationally and in Virginia. Rahm Emanuel, who could have been (and may be one day) the first Jewish Speaker of the House, is a proud Democrat and is serving the current Democratic administration at the very highest levels. Joe Lieberman, who is a life-long Democrat who still, as an independent, caucuses with the Democrats and generally votes with them, was undeniably a Democrat when he became the first major party Jewish nominee for vice president.

Of course, some Jews are Republicans, just as some members of every group, including African Americans, are. This is a two-party democracy. But most are Democrats.

I have to admit I didn't previously know that Jody Wagner was an historic candidate in this sense (just as, I believe, Tim Kaine was the first Catholic to become a Virginia governor?). To me, just being a woman running statewide was pretty impressive, although she's not the very first to do so.

This is exciting news! Go Jody!

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | October 15, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Sorry self-hating Jew, Democrats prop up and cheer terroist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah and made sweet love to Yasser Arafat.

But cheer up, there were Jews that supported Hitler initially before they were shipped to cocentration camps so yor behavior is nothing unique.

Posted by: LdSentinal | October 15, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Simmer down, folks. That's enough name-calling for one thread.

Christopher Dean Hopkins
Deputy Editor for Local Politics and Government

Posted by: Christopher_Dean_Hopkins | October 15, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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