2002 could see historical number of Jewish governors

WASHINGTON — Could this be the year of the Jewish governor?

A surprising number of Jewish candidates are seeking governorships across the country, making plays for an office that has eluded a significant Jewish political presence.

With 36 gubernatorial races this fall, seven Jewish candidates are in the running. It's not a staggering number, but only 17 Jews have ever served as governors since 1801 — though data for the early years is not precise.

With the U.S. Senate now able to hold a minyan, the Jewish candidates, all but one of whom are Democrats, are trying to make inroads into a new political arena.