Joel Rubin, who helped pass Iran nuclear deal, running for Congress

Marcy Oster

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Joel Rubin, the former U.S. State Department’s chief liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives who worked for the successful passage of the Iran nuclear weapons deal in Congress, is running for Congress.

Rubin announced Monday that he would mount a Congressional candidacy to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is running to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).

In his brief announcement, Rubin said, if elected, he would support a liberal agenda while “pushing back” against those who don’t support his “progressive values.”

Rubin, 44 and the father of three daughters, said he planned to make his work in getting the Iran deal adopted “a centerpiece” of his campaign. It shows that he can be successful in Congress, and his belief in diplomacy over war, he said.


Rubin, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, joins a crowded field of Democrats for the 8th Congressional District which includes parts of Montgomery, Carroll and Frederick counties.

Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin, former President Barack Obama aide William Jawando, Maryland State delegates Kumar Barve and Ana Sol Gutierrez, Marriott International executive vice president Kathleen Matthews, and non-profit executive David Anderson previously announced their candidacies. Both Raskin and Rubin are Jewish.

No one has yet announced on the Republican ticket in the heavily Democratic district.

Rubin previously worked at J Street as its political director and was involved in national security issues for Ploughshares Fund. He also was a congressional fellow for former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and an aide to the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

He currently is president of Washington Strategy Group, a consulting company he founded.

All those running to replace Van Hollen except Anderson said they favored the Iranian nuclear weapons agreement, according to Bethesda Magazine.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at