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Battle of the Wexler proteges?

by George Bennett | October 14th, 2009

U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, was instrumental in getting little-known Democrats Ted Deutch and Jeremy Ring elected to the state Senate in 2006.

Now the Wexler proteges could battle each other for their mentor’s congressional seat.

Boca Raton Sen. Deutch and Coral Springs Sen. Ring are among the half dozen or more Democrats who might enter a special election for Wexler’s Palm Beach-Broward congressional seat when Wexler steps down in January to head a Middle East think tank.

Wexler remains close to Deutch and Ring, but a Democratic insider said Wexler is likely to endorse Deutch as his replacement.

Other prominent Democrats eyeing the race include West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter, former Broward Mayor Ben Graber and former Boca Raton state Rep. Irving Slosberg.

The winner of the Democratic primary will likely claim the seat in a district where Democrats hold more than a 2-to-1 registration edge over Republicans and no GOP candidate has received more than 34.4 percent since 1996.

Primary and general election dates will be set after Gov. Charlie Crist receives a resignation letter from Wexler.

Graber, who got 6.6 percent against Wexler last year as a no-party candidate, announced today he will run as a Democrat in the special election.

Other potential candidates said they were in soul-searching mode.

“I have to talk to my friends and family and see what’s in my heart,” said Frankel.

“I am talking to community members, I am talking to leaders all across my district and most importantly I am talking to my family,” said Deutch, who expects to make an announcement Thursday.

Ring said he is “absolutely investigating it, considering it. I should have a decision this weekend.”

Ritter said she’ll make a decision next week.

With about 71 percent of District 19 voters in Palm Beach County, Broward candidates Ring and Ritter both said they would have to analyze whether multiple Broward candidates would hurt each other and maximize Palm Beach County’s advantage.

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6 Responses to “Battle of the Wexler proteges?”

  1. Stop holding out Says:

    When are you going to post the Palm Beach County fundraising totals ?

  2. max dugan Says:

    State Senator Ted Deutch is an excellent choice for U.S. Congressman.

    Senator Deutch is a competent attorney and seasoned legislator who will fight like a lion to serve our district’s interests. Senator Deutch is; and always has been a very good shephard to his flock.

    Senator Deutch will be in good company with two Washington icons namely, Congressman Alcee Hastings and Senator Joe Lieberman.

    Let’s send Senator Deutch to Washington so he can take charge and bring us what we need, namely: High paying jobs, quality healthcare, fewer regressive taxes, and lower gasoline prices.

  3. Paola Says:

    God help us if Frankel is elected. She’s got a record of abuse and poor leadership as Mayor of WPB…just what we need in Washington…??!?#?#?$?>@??!>#>>!@#?

  4. addie Says:

    So happy to see Captain Douchebag go.

  5. Enough already Says:

    Ring and Deutch are both implicated in the money laundering ring with Wexler. Let’s see if Charlie is willing to let his new corruption buster force investigate these two. It should make for some good fireworks.

  6. WEX HEX Says:

    How much is the special election going to cost us??? Thank, Wexler! Way to care about the constituents!

    ALSO: PBP should find out why this “think tank” needed a president immediately? Didn’t their last president die in 2002??? Why did Wexler have to resign now?? And how can his position in an unknown think tank be more influential than his ranking position in the US Congress now that he is in the majority party?

    How many members of congress have left for the private sector when their party is in the majority?

    I can not believe that people are just going to allow this prick to resign, without answering real questions. Well, let’s wait until next week when the real newspapers expose the real story.

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