Candidates for Lt. Governor speak to Jewish community

October 25, 2013

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Jeff Cooper welcomes the crowd.

Jeff Cooper welcomes the crowd.

The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater hosted candidates for Lt. Governor of Virginia on separate evenings last week. State Senator Ralph Northam met with the community on Monday, Oct.. 21st and Bishop E.W. Jackson did so on Tuesday, Oct. 22nd at the Simon Family JCC on the Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community. With audiences of more than 60 people each night, the candidates addressed concerns from the community. Topics included support for UJFT’s agencies, Medicaid expansion, education, gay marriage, transportation, Affordable Care Act, gun control, religion in the public arena and more.

Jackson was questioned on his alleged quote in the media regarding non-Christians being followers of “false religion” and did not deny saying something “akin to that.” Jackson did say that he is not anti-Semitic and is a lover of Israel. He also commented that he is not “running for Theologian of Virginia, but Lt. Governor of Virginia,” further stating that he “is a preacher. That means I’ve got to serve people who are atheists and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and Mormons and of every background. So I don’t want to try to get into a theological analysis of what I think of various religions.”

Jackson’s comments did not appease everyone, but it seemed that most people left each event feeling better that they heard from the candidates themselves.

“The CRC was pleased to offer this important education and advocacy opportunity to the community,” says Megan Zuckerman, chair of the CRC.

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