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Steve Beren (born September 9, 1951, New York, New York) is a speaker, writer, and political activist from Seattle, Washington. Beren is also the 2008 Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Washington State's 7th Congressional District against incumbent Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott.
Beren, an outspoken defender and advocate of the U.S. military commitment in Iraq. His campaign is emphasizing the issues of foreign policy, immigration, the economy, and social conservatism. His goal is to start rebuilding the Republican Party in Seattle, and to get dialogue going on major issues.
Beren had been mentioned as a possible conservative candidate for city council in the Seattle 2007 elections.
Beren also opposed McDermott in 2006, receiving 16% of the vote against McDermott's 79%. In 2006, the main issues Beren's campaign focused on were victory in the war against terrorism, tough border security, limited government, and energy independence.
During the 2006 campaign, Seattle Times columnist David Postman criticized Beren's immigration stance and argued that Beren's candidacy would not "appeal to the state's most liberal congressional district. Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Kristin Millares Bolt wrote that Beren had the "strident tones" of a true believer.
In reporting on one of Beren's 2006 debates with McDermott, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Joel Connelly said Beren resorted to "Vietnam-era sound bites" and "displays a convert's zealotry toward the Iraq conflict." Also in 2006, Seattle Times editorial writer Ryan Blethen questioned Beren's qualifications and chances against an incumbent who has never received less than 72% of the vote in a general election.
During their October 5, 2006 debate in Shoreline, Washington, Congressman McDermott said of Beren, "having listened to my opponent here, I think you have a clear choice.... If you like what George Bush has done to this country for the last six years, vote for Steve because he needs another one - he needs another vote."
In 2005, Beren came under sharp criticism from Hussein Ibish, Vice-Chair of the Progressive Muslim Union of North America.
Born in New York City, Beren states that he was raised in a non-religious, secular Jewish home and later became an atheist. From 1968 to 1990 he was an activist for the Socialist Workers Party and a defender of Fidel Castro. By 1990 he quit the SWP. After that he became a support of the Democratic Party. In 1995 he converted from atheism to Christianity. He became a Republican at age 52, during the 2004 Bush-Kerry campaign. The September 11, 2001 attacks were influential in his turn toward the Republican Party.
Further Beren has lived in Seattle since 1987, and is currently director of production operations for an internet marketing company. He and his wife are members of Christian Faith Center.
- Steve Beren's official campaign website
- Steve Beren's speaking tour website
- GOP journal: Report from a county convention - Beren "one of the most optimistic" by Scott St. Clair, Crosscut.com, 4/28/08
- State's U.S. House seats don't flip parties easily - Beren is running again this year by Neil Modie, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1/22/08
- Beren for Congress - Seattle businessman getting ready for second campaign against McDermott by Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9/21/07
- Steve Beren on the McDermott decision by Jim Miller, SoundPolitics.com, 5/2/07
- GOP seeking unlikely victories in Seattle - Beren might run for Seattle City Council by Neil Modie, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12/20/06
- 2006 General Election Results, Washington Secretary of State
- Endorsements 2006: Washington - Esquire endorses Beren Esquire Magazine, November 2006
- There should be a place for a candidate like this by Ryan Blethen, Seattle Times, 10/27/06
- McDermott, rivals to debate tonight by Kristen Millares Bolt, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/25/06
- General urges U.S. to revise Iraq plan - Beren displays zealotry toward the Iraq conflict by Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/9/06
- Steve Beren, changer extraordinaire: part II by Neo-Neocon, 10/6/06
- Steve Beren, changer extraordinaire: from socialist to Republican: part I by Neo-neocon, 10/5/06
- Beren, McDermott to debate in Shoreline by Andy MacDonald, SoundPolitics.com, 10/4/06
- Steve Beren: from socialism to the GOP by Matt Rosenberg, SoundPolitics.com, 8/9/06
- McDermott challenger knows a little something about the left by Bruce Ramsey, Seattle Times, 8/9/06
- Credit 2 House long shots for challenging safe seats by Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/26/06
- Sacrificial lamb or GOP star? by David Postman, Seattle Times, 6/2/06
- Kamal Nawash's Very, Very Strange Bedfellows by Hussein Ibish, 5/12/05