Campaign Spotlight: Rep. Tammy Duckworth & Russ Feingold

September 13, 2016

Illinois Senate

Our endorsee: Rep. Tammy Duckworth


Rep. Duckworth has been a J Street endorsee since 2012, when she defeated the far-right, one-state supporting Rep. Joe Walsh to represent Illinois’ 8th District in Congress. A US army veteran who sustained combat wounds in Iraq, Duckworth is an American hero who understands that effective US leadership means policies that put diplomacy first. She’s been a strong advocate for the two-state solution and the Iran deal. 

Key quote:

If we reject…negotiations and multinationalism, the likelihood for unilateral military action becomes greater. The United States must not send troops into harm’s way without exhausting all diplomatic options.

The opponent: One-term incumbent Senator Mark Kirk


Kirk is a leader of the pack among hawks in the Senate. He tried hard to kill the Iranian nuclear agreement in Congress, and added his name to Senator Tom Cotton’s outrageous public letter to the Ayatollah, aiming to undermine President Obama’s negotiating credibility. Kirk has been a defender of the settler movement: After Vice President Biden criticized Israeli settlement expansion at J Street’s 2016 Gala, Kirk’s campaign insisted that Duckworth apologize on Biden’s behalf.

Key quote:

“President Obama wants to get nukes to Iran.”

The polls

The race is currently listed as “Leans Democrat” by Cook Political Report.


Wisconsin Senate

Our endorsee: Russ Feingold

Feingold is no stranger to the pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy movement. When he previously served three terms in the Senate, he championed American diplomacy on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and cast a vote against the Iraq War. He previous served as the US special envoy for Congo, where he saw the power of effective diplomacy firsthand. A proud American Jew, Feingold was an early supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, touting it as a major accomplishment that has made our country safer.

Key quote

Feingold’s campaign has knocked his opponent, Senator Ron Johnson, for reckless opposition to the Iran deal.

On this critical national security issue, Ron Johnson has offered nothing but an endorsement of the reckless foreign policy championed by Republican politicians like Dick Cheney and Tom Cotton.

The opponent: One-term incumbent Senator Ron Johnson

ron-johnson-spotlightJohnson has enthusiastically joined the chorus of Senate Republicans seizing every chance to trash diplomacy and promote reckless policies. At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, he proudly associated himself with Donald Trump’s dangerous rhetoric and worldview. He’s attacked Feingold for backing the Iran deal and for receiving J Street’s support.

Like Mark Kirk, he joined Senator Cotton’s public letter to the Ayatollah – and later was forced to admit it was a “tactical error.” His campaign ads have trumpeted his opposition to the Iran deal, using photo-shopped pictures of President Obama shaking hands with Iran’s president.

The polls

The race is currently listed as “Lean Democrat” by Cook Political Report.