Douglas Herbert, a Democrat who is running for Congress in New Jersey’s District 11, wasted no time offering his Jewish bona fides to a group of about 50 people who had gathered at Temple B’nai Or in Morristown on Oct. 24.
(His opponent, Republican incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen, declined an invitation to participate.)
“My wife is Jewish,” Herbert said. “When we got married, a rabbi was there and I stepped on the glass. It’s part of me.”
He remarked lightheartedly on his fondness for lox, and more soberly on his wife’s relatives in Tel Aviv as well as those who left Haifa during the Hizbullah bombing in the 2006 war.
“Israel to me is not only politically important, it is also personal,” he said.
As he did in a July profile in NJJN and an Oct. 17 debate with Frelinghuysen and other district candidates (see related articles), Herbert shared his thoughts on the economy and President Obama’s health-care reform, which he supports but acknowledged is “not perfect.”
He also suggested how he might unseat the incumbent in what polls suggest is a long-shot race. If Tea Party supporters vote libertarian, and if teachers, union laborers, and the unemployed vote for him en masse, “I could close the gap and win,” he said.