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5 Jewish things to know about Beto O Rourke
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Mar 14, 2019 9:38 PM 1+ week ago

JTA -- Add Beto O'Rourke to the already crowded field of Democratic candidates hoping to unseat US President Donald Trump. The El Paso native and former congressman hopes to build on the buzz that accompanied his unsuccessful but oh-so-close campaign against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in last year's Texas Senate race.

O'Rourke, a Roman Catholic, has clashed at times with the local Jewish community, particularly his vote in 2014 against funding for Israel's Iron Dome rocket defense system. He also has reportedly claimed to have some Jewish roots.

Since we're a Jewish news agency, we just had to start with this one. According to the Forward, O'Rourke spoke in 2014 about having "some Jewish ancestry" in a meeting with local pro-Israel activists after the Iron Dome vote. JTA was not able to find other accounts or confirm with his campaign. O'Rourke has Irish and Welsh ancestry -- his family came from Ireland to the US four generations ago. If we find a ...

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