Tomorrow: Jewesses for the win?
The country is abuzz with anticipation. Tomorrow, on November 2, 2010, citizens will head to the polls and cast their ballots in the midterm elections. Will the Republicans take the House? Will the Democrats keep the Senate? Tomorrow night or in the wee hours of Wednesday, America will know the results (barring any drawn-out polling mishaps or mandated recounts).
And in case you were not aware, Jewish women feature prominently in the Legislative Branch, and some are up for a tough election tomorrow. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who represents Arizona’s 8th congressional district, is running for reelection tomorrow against Iraq War veteran Jesse Kelly (R). An Arizona native, Giffords is the first Jewish woman elected to represent her state. Polls indicate a toss up in the notorious swing district.
Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) may have an easier day tomorrow. The Democratic representative from Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district has represented her state since 2005, and tomorrow faces a race against Republican Dee Adcock. Though the district has historically been Republican, polls project a Democratic win tomorrow.
Other Jewish women in the House of Representatives include incumbents Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Susan Davis (D-CA), Jane Harman (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), all of whom are projected to win.
Barbara Boxer (D-CA), one of two Jewish women in the Senate (the other being Dianne Feinstein, also a Democrat from California who is not up for reelection this year) runs tomorrow against Republican businesswoman Carly Fiorina. Polls indicate a tight race, with Fiorina trailing closely behind Boxer.
In state politics, Linda Lingle, the Republican governor of Hawaii, has reached her two-term limit in office and cannot seek reelection. Lingle, who is both the first woman and first Jew to serve as governor of Hawaii, will soon hand her office over to either Democrat Neil Abercrombie or Republican James Aiona.
The fact that the United States is a country in which both women and Jews have the right to serve—and do serve—in elected government should not be taken for granted. Voting is not only a privilege, it is duty, and by fulfilling it, we can demonstrate that we understand the significance of our freedom. So don’t forget to go out and cast your ballot tomorrow. Times are tough, and every vote matters. As the first Jewish congresswoman Bella Abzug once said, “If we get a government that reflects more of what this country is really about, we can turn the century – and the economy – around.”