Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rabbi Rips Rothman's Voter Plea

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rabbi Rips Rothman's Voter Plea

Article excerpt

An Englewood rabbi running for the Republican nomination in the 9th Congressional District race on Wednesday criticized an effort to convince Jewish Republicans to switch parties so they can vote in the Democratic primary.

In an open letter to Jewish Republican voters, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach said the effort, funded by the campaign of Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Englewood, makes a "mockery" of the political system.

"You registered as a Republican for a reason," Boteach wrote. "For the Rothman campaign to ask that you unregister simply to help his campaign -- even as an Orthodox rabbi is running in the Republican primary -- is misguided and unjust."

Rothman, who is Jewish, is battling fellow Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of Paterson in the June 5 primary to be the party's nominee in the redrawn Democratic-leaning 9th District, which includes parts of Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties.

In February, the presidents of 15 Orthodox synagogues in Passaic sent a letter to Jewish Republicans urging them to register as Democrats so they could vote for Rothman, citing his strong support for Israel. …

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