AIPAC-backed candidate wins in closely watched US Democratic race

by | Jul 20, 2022 | World

US pro-Israel groups have claimed victory in another win in Democratic congressional primaries, helping defeat a veteran former lawmaker critical of Israel, who was endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.Former prosecutor Glenn Ivey – backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which spent millions of dollars to help his campaign – won against ex-congresswoman Donna Edwards in Maryland on Tuesday.
The race mirrored other Democratic primaries in this election cycle, where the AIPAC-aligned super PAC, the United Democracy Project (UDP), has been sponsoring ads attacking Israel’s critics on issues unrelated to the Middle East to prop up its favoured candidates.
But while in previous contests UDP largely came on the side of establishment-backed candidates against progressives, Edwards enjoyed the support of many top mainstream Democrats.
She was endorsed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as well as key lawmakers, including congressman Adam Schiff; Pelosi also defended the former congresswoman against AIPAC’s attacks.
Edwards had represented the House district neighbouring Washington, DC for nearly a decade, before launching an unsuccessful Senate bid in 2016. She hoped to return to Congress with incumbent congressman Anthony Brown running for Maryland attorney general.
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The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, so Ivey is almost certainly to be elected to Congress after the general elections in November.
UDP spent almost $6m to help defeat Edwards, according to Open Secrets, a website that tracks election spending. The Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), another pro-Israel group, also spent $426,000 in support of Ivey.
Edwards enjoyed some outside backing but nowhere near the level of resources UDP and its allies put into the race. Another PAC, aligned with J Street – a liberal Jewish group that opposes the occupation, spent $413,000 to back her.
It is not clear how such spending may ha …

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