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Let’s Focus on the Midterm Elections

Twenty days. That’s how much time we have until the crucial November 6 midterm elections.

The Jewish Link, over the past several weeks, has been profiling the incumbents and challengers in several important New Jersey races. More are to come.

You think your vote doesn’t count? You think that skipping this election is no biggie? We urge you to think again.

With less than three weeks remaining, Democrat Bob Menendez, who wants to return to the U.S. Senate for a third term, is facing a serious challenge from Republican opponent Rob Hugin. It is a race that has taken on an ugly turn recently in the media. Two-term U.S. senators aren’t typically in the fight for their political lives. But the Menendez-Hugin battle has drifted in the polls from a dead heat to the incumbent holding anywhere from a 10- to 7-point lead.

In the 5th District congressional race, freshman Democrat Josh Gottheimer is also running hard against Republican challenger John McCann. Political pundits are also calling this race a close one. It was only two years ago that Gottheimer won by a mere four points over Republican incumbent Scott Garrett.

More locally, Gerald Reiner was profiled in his race for Teaneck’s Board of Education, where he highlighted his experience as an expert in municipal finance. Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco is running for re-election, with Bergenfield Mayor
Norman Schmelz looking to unseat him. We will be profiling that race as well in the coming days.

There are so many issues on the line that impact our community. In national politics, in the two years since being elected to the White House, the shock-and-awe Trump administration has fulfilled campaign promises by moving Israel’s U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He has withdrawn the nation from the deeply flawed Iran nuclear deal. And under his watch, the UN’s anti-Israel posture has changed quite a bit for the better.

New Jersey voters are concerned about a federal tax hike bill, and Gottheimer has told The Jewish Link that he’s seen way too much extremism on both sides of the aisle during his first term. Teach NJS has taught us that advocacy in Trenton is key to helping private school parents like many of us get more for our tax dollars for school security and preparedness.

Whatever side of the aisle voters choose to support, it is vital that we all participate in the process. All the candidates The Jewish Link has interviewed have told us outright how urgent these midterms are. When they are over, we could see changes, particularly in the House of Representatives.

And once these elections conclude, all the focus will turn to an incumbent GOP president running against what now seems like a somewhat war-torn, yet extremely passionate and increasingly distant from Israel Democratic Party. Some of them, like Cory Booker, have sought to court voters by actually turning their backs on Israel. That certainly won’t be forgotten in 2020 either. If Israel truly matters to us as voters, we must fight for it, from either inside or outside the Democratic Party.

But it all starts in 20 days. With your vote.

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