Contributed photo 

New York State Senate candidate Jen Metzger light a candle at the Landfield Avenue Synagogue in Monticello at a memorial service for the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. 
 

Candidates react to synagogue shooting

MONTICELLO, NY — Congressional candidates and candidates running for the New York State Senate reacted to the massacre in Pittsburgh on October 27 that resulted in the death of 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue. The accused killer, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, reportedly made anti-Semitic comments during the attack, and had denigrated Jews on social media.

Democrat Antonio Delgado, who is running for a seat in Congress, and Democrat Jen Metzger, who is running for a state senate seat, attended a memorial service for the victims, held at the Landfield Avenue Synagogue on October 28. Local officials, including Sheriff Mike Schiff, county legislature chair Luis Alvarez and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunter, also attended.

Delgado issued a statement saying, “We strongly condemn these acts of violence and hatred. What unites us is so much more powerful than what divides us, and we need to stay grounded in our shared values of peace and love. We need to recognize the dignity in each and every one of us—a dignity that rests in our shared humanity and the sanctity of life, not race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. We simply have to stop demonizing each other and demagoguing at every turn—be it politically or otherwise.”

 

Metzger wrote of the memorial on her Facebook page, “It was sorrowful and moving, but also uplifting to be together with so many people, affirming our commitment to love and good deeds.”

Delgado’s opponent, Republican John Faso, also issued a statement about the Pittsburgh shooting, saying, “All places of worship are supposed to be havens to reflect and pray. This sick individual is a terrorist whose goal is to strike fear in a community. His actions and goals will not prevail, and we can’t allow for his hate to fester. I pray for the victims, their families and friends, and everyone in the Jewish and local community in Pittsburgh.”

Metzger’s opponent, Republican Annie Rabbitt, posted a message on her website that said, “Stronger than hate,” accompanied by a Star of David.

Political candidates in Pennsylvania also reacted to the attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue and cancelled campaign activities for the day.

Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, also attended an interfaith vigil in Pittsburgh on October 28. He posted on his Facebook page, “Any attack on one community of faith in Pennsylvania is an attack against every community of faith in Pennsylvania.”

Wolf’s Republican opponent, Scott Wagner, issued a statement that said, “This type of violence is sickening and has no place in our society. We salute the bravery and swift response of local law enforcement in containing the suspect, and we will suspend campaign activity today so we can continue to monitor the situation and provide whatever assistance is necessary.”

Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, also attended the vigil in Pittsburg and said, “We stand with the victims and their families in this time of tragedy. Those of us in public office have an obligation to take actions that can reduce the likelihood of mass shootings. We must come together as a nation and meet this challenge.”

Casey’s Republican opponent, Congressman Lou Barletta, released a statement saying, “To target the Jewish community in any way disregards each and every value we hold dear as Americans, and to do so with such a cowardly and heinous attack is pure evil. There is no place for anti-Semitism or any similar hatred in our society.”

 

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