Dennis Shulman, a blind rabbi from Demarest was defeated by three-term incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett in New Jersey’s 5th Congrssional District by a 56-42 percent margin. “We did not win the election, but we were right” on the issues, including education, health care, the environment and the Iraq war, Shulman said in his concession speech in Paramus. Shulman,who received national attention for his unique personal story, had called Garrett “too conservative” for the Bergen County-area district, and had accused the Republican of taking an improper tax break and being too close to a mortgage company connected to the economic crisis.
Garrett denied any wrongdoing, airing a negative advertisement accusing Shulman of wanting to negotiate with Hamas terrorists and calling him “too extreme for New Jersey.” (Shulman denies supporting talks with Hamas, saying he backs whatever diplomatic approach that Israel adopts on the issue.)
Garrett called on Shulman to “renounce” the endorsement he received from the left-leaning pro-Israel group J Street. Shulman defended the endorsement, saying he backs the new group’s desire to see the United States play a more active role in promoting Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Garrett had received the endorsement of the New Jersey-based pro-Israel political action committee NORPAC.