Leading Reform Rabbi Considering U.S. Senate Run, to Replace John Kerry

Rabbi Jonah Pesner is reportedly having 'exploratory conversations' about a run for Mass. seat.

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, an official of the Union for Reform Judaism, is considering a run for the open Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat.

Pesner, of Newton, Mass., told the Boston Phoenix in a story posted January 7 that he is having "exploratory conversations" about a run to replace Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), whom U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated to be secretary of state. He would run as a Democrat.

Pesner, a senior vice president for the Reform organization, was a leader of an interfaith alliance that was considered critical in bringing about universal health care coverage in Massachusetts - a template for Obama's version that was passed in 2010.

The winner of a special vote for the seat would face reelection in two years, when it would revert to the typical six-year term.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is lobbying Gov. Deval Patrick to name him the interim senator until the election takes place, likely by springtime.
 

Rabbi Jonah Pesner
Courtesy of the Union for Reform Judaism
John Kerry
AP