Deutch says he’s already raised more than $100,000 for special congressional raceby George Bennett | October 19th, 2009
WEST PALM BEACH — Appearing with a dozen Democratic elected officials a few blocks away from potential rival Lois Frankel’s office, state Sen. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, said his congressional campaign has already topped $100,000 in contributions since setting up a campaign web site late Thursday.
Deutch is running for the seat of U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, who last week announced he’s stepping down in January to head the nonprofit Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation.
Deutch’s campaign today announced endorsements from 16 elected Democrats. Most of them stood behind Deutch outside the Palm Beach County Governmental Center this morning. The endorsers include County Commissioner Burt Aaronson, who said he gave “a lot of thought” to running for Wexler’s seat.
“I guess I didn’t want to be the oldest freshman that ever served in Congress,” said Aaronson, who is 81.
Aaronson, elected five times to a south-county seat with many of the same constituents as Wexler, said he believes he could have been elected, but wouldn’t have as much of a long-term future as the 43-year-old Deutch.
“I’d be interfering with someone’s chances of being a congressman a long time and serving the people,” Aaronson said. “For once in my life, ego did not take over being smart.”
The Deutch endorsement announcement rollout took place about two blocks away from West Palm Beach Mayor Frankel’s office. Frankel has said she’s considering running for Wexler’s Palm Beach-Broward seat.
Former Palm Beach County Commissioner Addie Greene, a friend of Frankel since their days together in the state House, was among those appearing with Deutch this morning. She said she hasn’t talked to Frankel since Wexler’s announcement, but doesn’t think Frankel will run.
“I personally don’t think she’s going to run because she’s done such a good job and she’s got a lot on her plate that she has to complete,” Greene said of Frankel.
“I like both of them,” she said of Frankel and Deutch.
Frankel said she’s still weighing her options and her responsibilities as mayor make it tough to make a quick decision.
“Believe it or not, I have a day job,” Frankel said. “I really and truly love what I’m doing. I’ve got so many things in the fire I can’t just drop something and say I’m going to run for Congress.”