Dennis Shulman, the blind psychologist rabbi running for Congress in New Jersey, picked up a high-profile endorsement this morning from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“I’m impressed by his pragmatic, sensible approach to the tough issues, including how we strengthen the economy and how we keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Bloomberg said in a statement. “We need more leaders in Congress willing to reach across the aisle and focus on problem solving, not ideology.”
Shulman, a Democrat, is challenging Republican Congressman Scott Garrett in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District.
Bloomberg blamed ideology for too often blocking progress on critical issues.
You can listen to Bloomberg’s conference call
The Gray Lady threw it’s support behind Dennis Shulman, the blind rabbi and psychologist challenging incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett in New Jersey’s 5th District.
Buoyed by their cash advantage, national polling favoring Democratic candidates as well as local issues, congressional Democrats have upgraded several races including those of a blind rabbi in New Jersey and a 29-year-old Jewish lawyer in Alabama.
Dennis Shulman, a psychologist-turned-rabbi-turned-candidate, and Josh Segall, the founder of “Homegrown Alabama,” which encourages schools to purchase food from local farmers, are among eight candidates added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program.
Red to Blue races represent the districts held by Republicans that the DCCC believes may be winnable.
The designation often means that the DCCC will invest its own cash in the races. But it can also a signal to outside groups and donors which races are considered priorities to put their money.
Shulman is challenging U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., and Segall is challenging U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers.
“Our grassroots campaign for change has been growing so rapidly in Northern New Jersey, and we welcome the additional support,” Shulman said in a statement.
Segall, in a statement, said he was “proud to have such strong national support…(that) will help us continue to get our message out.”
““With less than 21 days” to make their case to voters, DCCC Chairman Chris Vam Hollen of Maryland said the Red to Blue support will provide the challengers “the financial and structural edge to be even more competitive in November.”
We’ll update this post with reaction from Segall as well.
Rabbi Dennis Shulman of Demarest is sure hoping so. Shulman, a longtime clinical psychologist who was ordained in 2003, has a pretty incredible biography (he became blind late in childhood) and is hoping to use it against Republican incumbent Scott Garrett in New Jersey’s fifth congressional district.
Shulman’s not the only Democrat in the race thus far – civil rights Camille Abate is also in – nor is he the only Jew to take on Garrett in recent years: Paul Aronsohn lost to Garrett by 11 points in 2006. But he definitely brings a unique story to one of the country’s most expensive media markets, and time will tell if it is enough to help him break through.
After the jump, take a look at Shulman’s campaign bio, which is also posted up at Act Blue. It definitely shows a lot of skill in boiling a campaign down to a few key, compelling themes.