“We’re responding to something that is evil — the murder, rape, kidnapping of children, men, women and grandparents. There shouldn’t be any equivocation on this.” -Bhavini Patel, Rep. Summer Lee’s Democratic primary challenger
Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA) is a “Squad” member whom you don’t hear much about in the news, not because she’s not obnoxious and screechingly loud but because her colleagues in what’s been referred to as the “Hamas Caucus” have mastered the art of engaging in such behavior.
Backed by the Justice Democrats, the same woke PAC that guided Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to her upset primary victory in 2018, Lee, a freshman Congresswoman, won her seat in a blaze of glory in 2022 and was hailed as the first black woman ever elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.
What’s little known about Lee outside of the 12th Congressional District she represents, though, is that in the 2022 Democratic primary, she barely squeaked by with a little over 40 percent in a crowded five-person race, winning by just 988 votes over the second place finisher, Steve Irwin, a Jewish Democrat who is the Chair of the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Such numbers suggest that with the right candidate and a less crowded field in the solidly Democrat district a formidable primary challenger has the potential to make Lee a one-term member of Congress.
Those 2022 primary numbers shouldn’t be the only numbers that concern Lee. New polling numbers released since the start of the Hamas-instigated war with Israel, an issue on which Lee has sided with her fellow Squad members in demanding a ceasefire and accusing Israel of genocide, suggest that Lee’s antisemitism is hurting her in her district, which is heavily Jewish and which contains the Tree of Life Synagogue, the site of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.
I want to be very clear–every day the US fails to use its power to demand a ceasefire, more precious lives wil be cut short.
— Congresswoman Summer Lee (@RepSummerLee) November 9, 2023
The Jewish Insider reports:
New polling shared exclusively with Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel on Thursday indicates that Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA) could be in trouble as she gears up for a competitive primary next year.
The survey, conducted by Embold Research between October 21-23, shows Lee’s approval ratings currently underwater, with a plurality of voters in the Pittsburgh area — 43% — holding an unfavorable view of the freshman Squad member. Just 38% of the poll’s 860 respondents, a majority of whom identified as Democrats, had a favorable view of Lee.
But [Madison] Campbell, the founder of a new political action committee, Survivor PAC [which commissioned the poll], focused on rising crime, said the low approval ratings “make sense” due to Lee’s positions on the Israel-Hamas war, including her recent vote against a House resolution backing Israel and condemning Hamas — now the subject of attack ads from an AIPAC-affiliated super PAC.
Lee’s views on Israel, Campbell surmised, “do not represent the general population of the district,” which is heavily Jewish. “You can see that in my polling,” she explained. “This isn’t just anecdotal.”
This time around, Patel announced her candidacy five days before the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians began, and since that time, the Israel-Hamas war has dominated the political landscape in America as voters demand to know where politicians and candidates stand.
Patel will not hesitate to tell people that, unlike Lee, she is solidly in Israel’s corner:
But since Hamas’s slaughter of 1,400 Israelis, Ms. Patel said she had been spending her time with the voters of Squirrel Hill, talking about a conflict half a world away.
“Something that keeps coming up in my conversations is that Congresswoman Lee continues to equivocate,” she said. “We’re responding to something that is evil — the murder, rape, kidnapping of children, men, women and grandparents. There shouldn’t be any equivocation on this.”
My statement on the Meeks-McCaul Resolution vote today. pic.twitter.com/8K42Ed1RXa
— Bhavini Patel (@PatelForPA) October 26, 2023
4. Summer Lee did exactly this when asked if the messages were antisemitic. When questioned if they were she said "I don't know who spray-painted them or why." We can't continue to equivocate, it's dangerous.
— Bhavini Patel (@PatelForPA) November 2, 2023
On her campaign website, Patel announced some pretty impressive fundraising numbers so far in comparison to Lee’s:
Bhavini Patel has seen a remarkable surge in fundraising, surpassing $201K in one month, with 75% of the donations coming from Western PA and 99.2% coming from individuals, not PACs. Patel eclipsed the total amount raised by Summer Lee in the entire previous quarter in 30 days.
Axios noted last week that Lee was one of four “Squad” Democrats who were facing what they called “serious primary threats.” The other three were Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), and Ilhan Omar (Minn.). As of this writing, there are no declared challengers yet for Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and AOC.
As for Lee, she’s doubling down on her defense of Tlaib, despite Tlaib’s recently expressed “from the river to the sea” anti-Semitism, and is still insinuating that Israel is purposely killing Gaza civilians – without noting Hamas notoriously uses them as human shields:
Few know the courage it takes to stand w/ your head high in the midst of immeasurable pain, loss & indignity.
Shame on those piling on the only Palestinian Congresswoman—forced to watch her people collectively punished for crimes they didn't commit—& distort her cries & advocacy
— Summer Lee (@SummerForPA) November 8, 2023
The primary for this race is April 23, 2024. Put this one on your radar as one to watch.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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