Here is a roundup of local and national coverage following Rabbi Robert Barr’s campaign launch in OH-01. To learn more about Rabbi Barr and his campaign, please visit RobertBarrForCongress.com
Huffington Post: Ohio Man Could be the First Rabbi in Congress
Robert Barr, a rabbi and Democrat from Cincinnati, announced his bid on Tuesday for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio’s First Congressional District. If he succeeds, he could become the first rabbi ever to serve in Congress
“I’m doing this for the same reason that drove me to become a rabbi 37 years ago,” Barr told HuffPost on Wednesday. “I felt I have a responsibility to make the world a better place, which is a concept that transcends religion.”
Washington Post: Could this rabbi be a first in Congress?
Robert B. Barr, who plans to file papers today to be a Democratic candidate forthe House of Representatives in Ohio’s 1st District, is notable not only for being that rarest of birds, a running rabbi, but also for being the first who seems to have a good shot at winning. If he is the eventual nominee, his opponent would be Republican incumbent Steve Chabot, who lost once already, in the Obama landslide of 2008, before reclaiming his seat in 2010.
Barr’s principle issues include “repairing the damage that has been done” by the Trump administration, as well as “comprehensive campaign finance reform,” he said. “We need to deal with health care,” which for him means repairing, not repealing, the Affordable Care Act. And, he added: “Our responsibility is leaving the world better than we found it. That means the environment needs to be taken care of, and I don’t see that happening.”
Haaretz: First Rabbi in Congress? Ohio Democrat Aims to Unseat Veteran Republican
Deciding to run for office, he says, is “an extension of why I became a rabbi in the first place. I wanted to promote the values of community and social justice. I think that after more than three decades as a rabbi, I can now bring necessary change in the political realm.”
“The first thing you need in order to win people’s votes is to win their trust, and you can only achieve that by listening to them and showing them that you care,” Barr says. “There’s a lot of pain in America these days, and as a rabbi, I’m used to listening to people — that’s what I’ve been doing for my entire adult life. A lot of career politicians like to talk but not to listen. I want to do the opposite of that.”
Barr says he plans to focus on issues like health care and strengthening local communities. “We need affordable health care in our country,” he says, blaming Republicans for supporting plans that would make millions of Americans lose their coverage.
City Beat: Chabot Gets a Challenger Who Could Make History
Cincinnati’s U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot has a Democratic Party opponent, and he could make history. If Rabbi Robert Barr receives the party’s nomination and is elected, he would be the first rabbi to serve in Congress. Heck, he’s only the third rabbi in history to run for the U.S. House. It’s a long road to winning Ohio’s 1st District — which has been redrawn with more Republican friendly territory in Warren County — but Chabot was toppled once before, in the epic 2008 battle of the Steves, when he was beaten by Democrat Steve Driehaus. That was part of the big wave of Democrats coming into the House with President Barack Obama’s election. House races tend to swing against the party in the White House. Maybe Barr has a shot.
Jewish Forward: Ohio Democrat Wants To Be First Rabbi in Congress
He also wants to highlight issues of particular concern to the Jewish community. “Prejudice is raising its head in America. We had people marching down the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, in the middle of the day, shouting anti-Semitic, xenophobic, racist remarks. We need to address that. That’s what I want to focus on,” he said
Daily Kos: October 18 Morning Digest
Democrats just landed an unusual candidate in Ohio’s 1st District: Rabbi Robert Barr, who, according to the Washington Post’s Mark Oppenheimer, is just the third rabbi ever to run for Congress. […]
Ohio’s 1st would not, however, be out of reach for a Democrat in a good year, since Donald Trump carried it by a 51-45 margin.