Chicago, IL – In a congressional race that took on J Street overtones, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, easily turned back a challenge by political newcomer Joel Pollack, a Republican who made criticism of the incumbent’s positions on Israel the centerpiece of his campaign.
Pollack an Orthodox Jew also had vocal support from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Schakowsky was supported by the J Street PAC, so the race will be one in a series that will be interpreted as a referendum on the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group.
More at The Jewish Week
Pollak congratulated Democratic Incumbent Jan Schakowsky on her victory in Illinois’ 9th Congressional District at 9:30 p.m., tonight.
His remarks follow:
“Ladies and gentlemen: Thank you all for all that you have done. Tonight’s result is not what we hoped to achieve, but this campaign has been all–or almost all–that we hoped to create. I have called Rep. Jan Schakowsky to congratulate her on her victory. She campaigned hard, and worked to earn the trust of our district for another term. I did make clear that I objected to some of her tactics. That is a subject for another night.
Tonight, across our state and our nation, voters are repudiating the radical agenda that this Congress enacted. That struggle is not over. We cannot allow our government to keep expanding its control of our economy. We cannot allow our government to spend our nation into financial collapse. We cannot allow our government to undermine the security of our democratic allies by attempting to appease our authoritarian enemies.
There are many hopeful candidates throughout America that are celebrating tonight. There are many that join us in our disappointment. But we have all been part of an historic effort by the American people to restore the values of our Constitution and the institutions of our democracy. We have elected new leaders who will represent the people to Washington, and not Washington to the people. That is cause to celebrate.
We have much to celebrate in our own campaign as well. We smashed all previous fundraising efforts in our district, by nearly 10 to 1. We recruited more volunteers and built a bigger online campaign than any campaign had done here before. Most of all, we provided a real choice to the people of our district–and a real voice. We spoke directly to the people of our district, when the local media would not convey our message.
We showed that there is a political cost to siding with radical organizations like J Street.
We exposed corruption across Chicago and prevented a bailout–the only campaign to have done so, anywhere in America. We listened to people who had never been heard before–and we helped them hold their representative accountable. This campaign was not a contest of personalities, but a contest of ideas. I am proud of it–and proud of you.
I am so grateful to the many thousands of people who contributed to our effort and lent a hand. I would especially like to thank Alan Dershowitz, Paul Ryan, Vivica A. Fox, Tevi Troy, and Gary Sinise for lending their voices to our effort. I would like to thank the many volunteers who worked so hard alongside us each and every day. And I would like to thank my outstanding, inspiring campaign staff. You have honored yourselves tonight.
Most of all, I would like to thank my parents, Raymond and Naomi, and especially my wife, Julia. This campaign involved so many sacrifices, and she bore them with strength and courage. She is my Airman–always ready to face the greatest challenge to defend the greatest principles. She is true to the heroism of her Hebrew namesake, Yael. Thank you again, to all who fought alongside us for the fresh start that our district deserves.”