By Dan Kalik, Director of Political Affairs, JStreetPAC
I am very excited today to announce two new additions to our list of 2012 endorsed candidates: Former Virginia Governor and Chair of the Democratic National Committee Tim Kaine for Senate in Virginia, and Representative Mike Doyle for reelection in Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional district.
Having watched J Street grow over these few years into a serious presence on the political stage, I couldn’t be more proud of our progress. Every election cycle, our reach expands. We have more supporters, more donors, more candidates who are willing to run a pro-Israel, pro-peace platform and take JStreetPAC’s endorsement.
Governor Tim Kaine is running in one of the most competitive, most closely watched Senate races this election year. Raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Kaine speaks of himself as a Truman Democrat, committed to making Israel a lasting home for the Jewish people that is safe, secure and at peace with its Palestinian neighbors. He has visited Israel several times and demonstrated his commitment to Israel by working as the Governor of Virginia to forge a close and unprecedented business partnership between Israel and Virginia.
Representative Mike Doyle has served the people of Pittsburgh in Congress for over seventeen years. Doyle has been a strong supporter of J Street’s mission, recognizing that “there will never be a lasting peace until we have a two-state solution.” He has remained actively engaged on the issue, most recently signing on to the Cohen-Yarmuth-Connolly letter, which called for vigorous US leadership in seeking a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Both of these candidates are outstanding public servants and devoted advocates for Israel, committed to ensuring its Jewish and democratic future by achieving a two-state solution. Congress needs more voices like theirs, more leaders who are willing to promote US engagement and fight for Israel’s future on the world stage.
With these two new endorsements, JStreetPAC has now endorsed 65 federal candidates in the 2012 cycle. Those candidates range from up-and-comer Representative Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay woman to be elected to Congress, to Representative John Dingell, a distinguished veteran of the House of over fifty-seven years. Some of our endorsees, like seasoned Senator Dianne Feinstein, have supported a strong US-Israel relationship in Congress for over twenty years, while Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, is running to be a new voice for US leadership.
The overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans believe that the best way to protect Israel as a flourishing democratic state is for it to make peace with its neighbors. They know that this can only be realized through tireless diplomacy, with leaders who are deeply committed to a peaceful resolution. And JStreetPAC is demonstrating, with record donations each cycle, the wellspring of support in our community for candidates who are willing to champion this cause. With the support of thousands of donors, we have consistently broken new ground since the PAC’s establishment in 2008. In our first election cycle, we became the largest pro-Israel PAC. In 2010, we were the first and still so far only pro-Israel PAC to disburse more than $1 million in a single cycle. This year, we are on pace to break our own record of $1.5 million distributed to a slate of fifty House incumbents and ten challengers, in addition to our five Senate candidates.
With our passionate base of supporters and our resources, our donations will be a crucial factor in key races across the national political landscape in 2012.