CONTACT: Logan Bayroff
WASHINGTON, DC — J Street scored major victories on election night, with 128 of its supported candidates winning election, including many House challengers in some of the country’s most competitive races.
JStreetPAC shattered its own records in the 2018 cycle, distributing nearly $5 million for 163 congressional candidates, helping to elect a diplomacy-first Congress that will act as a check on President Trump’s dangerous agenda and ideology.
JStreetPAC reaffirmed its status as the nation’s largest pro-Israel PAC, raising over 53 percent of all pro-Israel PAC money distributed this cycle. The group more than doubled its total funds raised during the previous midterm cycle in 2014, and, as of now, supports over half the Democratic Caucus in both the House and Senate.
“Voters across the country, including the vast majority of American Jews, just took a major first step toward rolling back President Trump’s agenda,” said J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami. “The American people said ‘no’ to hatred, bigotry and a war of choice in the Middle East. They elected a Congress that can act as a check on this dangerous president.”
The pro-Israel, pro-peace group’s central goal this cycle was to shift the balance of power in Washington by electing a Congress that would stand up to Trump’s destructive policies in the Middle East and at home. J Street supporters mobilized across the country in an all-out effort to defeat the president’s congressional enablers and support candidates who will fight for diplomacy and democratic values. JStreetPAC raised nearly $2.3 million for House challengers, of whom at least 22 were victorious — with the result of several races still outstanding.
The PAC endorsed winning candidates in several of the night’s most competitive battleground wins, including a slate of impressive new leaders with experience in national security and foreign policy. In key races, the group raised over $90K for Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), over $70,000 each for Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Colin Allred (TX-32), and Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), and over $50,000 each for Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Jason Crow (CO-06), and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26).
The group also made a major impact on battleground Senate races. It raised just under $200,000 for victorious Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and just under $170,000 in support of Sen. Sherrod Brown’s win in Ohio. JStreetPAC members contributed over $90,000 to Jacky Rosen, whose defeat of Senator Dean Heller in Nevada will make her the newest Jewish senator. JStreetPAC was a also major contributor to Beto O’Rourke’s impressive Senate campaign in Texas, raising over $250,000 for an upset bid that fell just short.
The success of diplomacy-first candidates in some of the country’s most competitive districts confirms a major shift in the politics of foreign policy. J Street has helped drive this shift by creating political space for leaders to pursue diplomacy and by giving a powerful voice to the liberal majority within the American Jewish community. Even in swing districts and Republican-leaning states, candidates sought out the support of J Street and the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. J Street’s fundraising total and number of endorsees have grown in every election since its founding in 2008, and its major success in 2018 cements its status as a major political force.
“Strong support for the two-state solution, the Iran nuclear agreement and diplomacy are clearly winning issues in American politics — and dominant positions in the Democratic party,” said Ben-Ami. “With so many pro-Israel, pro-peace leaders about to take office, we hope to see a Congress that will check the president’s reckless foreign policy agenda, and work towards a better future for Israelis and Palestinians and for our country.”