New ratings from the Cook Political Report reflect improved chances for a couple of Jewish challengers in tough congressional races.
The non-partisan group changed the contest between incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Rogers and Democrat Josh Segall in Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District to likely Republican from solid Republican.
Likewise, Florida’s 18th Congressional District seat held by incumbent Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has been downgraded from solid Republican to likely Republican. One recent poll showed Jewish Latina businesswoman Annette Taddeo trailing by 7 percent.
Neither incumbent Republican Rep. Mark Kirk or Democratic challenger Dan Seals is Jewish, but Illinois’ 10th Congressional District has garnered attention because of its large Jewish population. That race is now rated a toss up.
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.