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Tracking the Jewish GOP Rookies

A look at what to expect from Shmuley Boteach and Josh Mandel

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An official geneal election ballot is seen at a polling place, November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois in the US presidential election.(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Given all the Berman/Sherman excitement out on the west coast, it’s easy to forget about some of the other Jews running for office. Other than Brad Schneider running for a congressional seat in the 10th District of Illinois, there aren’t many new Jewish Democrats on the scene this election season.

On the Republican front, former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle fights for a Senate seat and Brooklyn-born Adam Hasner, former Florida house majority leader, is in a close race for the newly created district 12 congressional seat after ending his U.S. Senate bid in February. There are also several Jewish Republicans new to the national stage. Here’s a look at what to expect:

New Jersey Congressional Race:

Candidate: Shmuley Boteach
Age: 45
Party: Republican
District: New Jersey’s Ninth District, which includes Bergen County
Opponent: Bill Pascrell Jr., who was endorsed by Former President Bill Clinton.
Occupation: Celebrity rabbi (See: The Michael Jackson Tapes), author
Hometown: Englewood, N.J.
Political experience: First time running for office
Platform: Supports school vouchers, tax-deductible marriage counseling, repealing Obamacare.
Odds: Tough. As Dan Klein reported in March 2012, “Close friends like Newark Mayor Cory Booker and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have warned Boteach that it might not be worth the struggle.”

Ohio U.S. Senate Race:

Candidate: Josh Mandel
Age: 35
Party: Republican
Opponent: Incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown
Occupation: Treasurer of the State of Ohio, former Marine
Hometown: Beachwood, Ohio.
Political experience: Two-time State Representative (2006, 2008)
Platform: Pro-life. Supports lowering taxes, repealing Obamacare; against same-sex marriage.
Family Ties: Mandel married into the high-powered Ratner family, who last week published a scathing open letter in the Cleveland Jewish News lambasting his position on same-sex marriage.
Trophy Case: Named “Rookie of the Year” by the Columbus Monthly Magazine
Odds: The AEPi alum faces tougher opponents than his in-laws: the latest Plain Dealer/Ohio Newspaper poll has Brown ahead by four points.

Related: Why I’m Voting for Romney [Tablet Magazine]
Kosher Republican
Previous: Berman/Sherman Face-off: The End of an Era
Sizing Up Shmuley
Mandel Wins Ohio Senate Primary
Boteach To Run, Citing Marriage, Drugs

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Tracking the Jewish GOP Rookies

A look at what to expect from Shmuley Boteach and Josh Mandel

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