Jewish Candidates in Area Hit the Right Votes in Election


Across the state, Jewish politicians and judges met with electoral success.

Whether or not the results portend anything for next year, when virtually everything — including the Presidency — will be contested is hard to say. But the notable success of Jewish politicians across Pennsylvania on Tuesday — both in local and statewide contests marked by low voter turnout — can’t help but send at least one strong message: Jews will always support their own, Democrat or not.

With victories ranging from the State Supreme Court and State Superior Court, to Philadelphia City Council, to important local judges and a County Commissioner, there was an unmistakably Jewish warmth in the Election Night air, exemplified by none other than the National Museum of American Jewish History playing host for Philadelphia Mayor-elect Jim Kenney’s victory party.

Perhaps the most significant victory was that of David Wecht being elected to the State Supreme Court. The Pittsburgh native joins fellow Jewish Judge Max Baer, who will be retiring in 2017, on the bench. His election, along with those by two other Democrats — fellow Allegheny County candidate Christine Donohue and Philadelphian Kevin Dougherty — shifts the balance of power on the Court to the Democrats for years to come, courtesy of a 5-2 advantage over the Republican jurists on the Court.

“I hope that the people will appreciate that it is a new day,” said Wecht during his victory celebration. “They will have a Supreme Court of which they can be proud.”

For the state’s Superior Court, where Wecht had been one of three Jews serving, nothing will change as far as its Jewish composition. That is thanks to the victory of Philadelphia Democrat Alice Beck Dubow, who, by dint of her election, now joins her mother Phyllis Beck — since retired — as the first mother-daughter team to hold such a distinct position.

Closer to home, Democrat Allan Domb is now an at-large member of Philadelphia City Council. Domb, a real estate developer who financed his own campaign, has declared he will donate, rather than draw his salary.

In Montgomery County popular Republican Risa Vetri Ferman, the former District Attorney, will make the short move to her new office as judge in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. She will be joined on the bench by fellow Democrat Todd Eisenberg, giving the Jewish community two of the three new judges on the court.

Also in the formerly reliably Republican suburban stronghold, Democrat Josh Shapiro was re-elected to the three-member Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

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