Son of ADL’s Leonard Zakim loses upstart bid in Mass. race

(JTA) – Josh Zakim, son of the late Jewish civil rights leader Leonard Zakim, fell short in his upstart bid to unseat longtime Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin. On Tuesday, Sept. 4, Galvin won 67 percent of the vote in the Democratic Party primary to 32.7 percent for Zakim. Still, it was the toughest primary challenge Galvin has faced in some two decades. In June, Zakim surprisingly garnered the state party’s nomination with 55 percent of the vote in what was seen as a popular shift toward younger non-establishment Democrats. Galvin has served six terms in the post. Zakim, serving his third two-year term on the City Council, had the backing of Mayor Marty Walsh and former state treasurer Steve Grossman, one-time chair of the Democratic National Committee, as well as a former chairman of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Zakim touted his candidacy as a “bridge to progress” – a play on the bridge over the Charles River named for his father. Leonard Zakim, who helmed the New England Anti-Defamation League office from 1984 until his death in 1999 at age 46, was a leader in advancing local civil rights and in black-Jewish cooperation.

Also Tuesday, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley scored a major upset over 10-term incumbent congressman Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary. Pressley is set to become the first black woman to serve Massachusetts in Congress, as there will be no Republican candidate in November in the Boston-area district – one of the most left-leaning in the country, according to The New York Times – once represented by John F. Kennedy. Pressley told the group Massachusetts Peace Action in a pre-primary questionnaire that she supports a House bill that would require the U.S. government to ensure that none of its military aid to Israel would be used for reported “detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children.” She also said that if elected, she would push for policy that “recognizes the basic human rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and promotes greater engagement between the two sides.”

CAP: Josh Zakim

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