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Archive for the ‘Robert Wexler’ Category

Tan Man Group: Actor George Hamilton hosting Palm Beach fundraiser for Charlie Crist

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 by George Bennett

Actor George Hamilton (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

Actor, part-time Palm Beacher and suntanning icon George Hamilton will be the special guest host Friday for a fundraiser for former Gov. Charlie Crist‘s 2014 Democratic campaign.

The event will be at Casa Apava, the South Ocean Boulevard home of Terry Allen Kramer and Nicholas Simunek.

The host committee for the $1,000-and-up event includes former Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, State Attorney Dave Aronberg, former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, County Commissioners Mary Lou Berger, Priscilla Taylor and Shelley Vana, state Sens. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, and Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, and longtime Delray Beach Democratic operative Andre Fladell.

Wexler defends Obama on Israel while Republicans slam Dems for dropping Jerusalem from platform

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 by George Bennett

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former South Florida U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler defended President Obama‘s support for Israel in a Democratic convention speech tonight as Republicans attacked the president and Democrats for omitting previous language from the party platform that identified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Wexler was an early supporter of Obama’s 2008 campaign when many of the constituents in his heavily Jewish Palm Beach-Broward congressional district favored Hillary Clinton. Wexler vouched for Obama’s pro-Israel credentials at the 2008 Democratic convention.

Four years later, Wexler said Obama had delivered on his promises.

“Over the past four years the president has proven this commitment time and again in both word and deed and the Democratic Party platform reflects the president’s unflinching commitment to Israel’s security and future as a Jewish state,” Wexler said.

Mitt Romney and Republicans criticized that platform today, noting that the new document removed language about Jerusalem that had been in the 2008 platform.

“Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths,” the 2008 Democratic platform said.

The 2012 Democratic platform states that “President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” but doesn’t mention Jerusalem.

Jewish voters, a key constituency in Florida, voted 78 percent for Obama in 2008 and have historically backed Democrats by large margins. But Republicans have attempted to peel away some of that support by accusing Obama of being weak on Israel.

Wexler added to Democratic convention lineup that’s light on Florida speakers

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 by George Bennett

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a lineup that’s largely devoid of speakers from the nation’s largest swing state, former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, who represented a Palm Beach-Broward congressional district for 13 years, will speak tonight to the Democratic National Convention between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Wexler resigned in the middle of his seventh term to take a job as president of the Washington-based S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in 2010.

Broward County U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, will play a prominent role in this week’s convention. And former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is a featured speaker.

Beyond that, no other prominent Floridians are scheduled to speak — a reflection of the lack of Democratic star power in the Sunshine State. The only Democrat to hold statewide elected office is Sen. Bill Nelson, who faces a tough reelection challenge from Republican Rep. Connie Mack this year. Nelson is keeping a low profile this week, with his campaign saying he’ll only be at the convention today.

Republicans scheduled five Florida speakers for last week’s GOP convention in Tampa: Sen. Marco Rubio, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Attorney Gen. Pam Bondi, Mack, and Gov. Rick Scott. Scott ended up missing his speaking gig because of Hurricane Isaac.

Wexler joins Deutch in endorsing Rader in contested Democratic state Senate primary

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 by George Bennett


Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler has joined his successor, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, in endorsing Democrat Kevin Rader over two other Dems for the new District 27 state Senate seat.

Rader, a former state House member from Delray Beach, is running against current Democratic state Reps. Mack Bernard and Jeff Clemens for the Riviera Beach-to-Boynton Beach Senate district.

About one-third of the district’s voters are black and many of them are represented in the House by Bernard, who is black. Many of the district’s coastal precincts are now represented in the House by Clemens.

The district also includes the Democrat-leaning condos of Century Village, Cypress Lakes and Golden Lakes, which have been represented in Congress by Wexler and now Deutch. The condos were part of an old Senate district where Rader won a 2010 primary but lost in the general election to Republican Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto.

Rader, who had been challenging Democratic state Sen. Maria Sachs in a Palm Beach-Broward district, jumped into the District 27 race this week.

Says Wexler in a statement released today: “I am proud to endorse Kevin Rader and look forward to actively helping him win this election. Kevin is the Democrat we need in the State Senate!”

Five past and present Democratic congressmen host Aronberg fundraiser

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 by George Bennett

Former Democratic state Sen. Dave Aronberg — still the only announced candidate for Palm Beach County state attorney — will get fundraising help next month from U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, and Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, and former Democratic Reps. Robert Wexler, Ron Klein and Harry Johnston.

The congressional quintet and former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth are on the host committee for the March 15 event at the Delray Beach home of Aronberg’s parents. Democratic Palm Beach County Commissioners Burt Aaronson, Shelley Vana and Priscilla Taylor and several Democratic club presidents and municipal officials are among the co-hosts.

With an April 20 candidate qualifying deadline approaching, Aronberg is the only candidate who has opened a campaign to replace State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, who is stepping down March 16 for a private sector job. Gov. Rick Scott will appoint a replacement to fill the remainder of McAuliffe’s term, which ends in January. Scott last week said he hasn’t decided whether he wants an appointee who will also run for the job in the fall.

Wexler helps Patrick Murphy raise $300,000 in quarter for West’s seat

Sunday, January 15th, 2012 by George Bennett

Wexler, Crist have both contributed to Democrat Patrick Murphy's congressonal campaign.

Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler contributed $2,000 during the fourth quarter of 2011 to the congressional campaign of Patrick Murphy, one of two Dems running for the Palm Beach-Broward seat of U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation.

Murphy raised more than $300,000 in the quarter, his campaign said, bringing his fundraising total to $1.4 million. Former Democratic governor candidate Bill McBride and former Wilton Mayors Mayor Jim Stork also contributed to Murphy. Stork ran for the congressional seat in 2004 but cut his campaign short for health reasons.

Republican-turned-independent former Gov. Charlie Crist gave $1,000 to Murphy’s campaign last spring. Murphy consultant Eric Johnson was a strategist for both Wexler and Crist.

Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel is also running as a Democrat for West’s seat and raised more than $1.1 million through Sept. 30.

Fourth-quarter campaign reports are due Jan. 31 for federal candidates.

Murphy and Frankel are among the top Democratic fundraisers in the U.S., but they are no financial match for West, who through Sept. 30 had raised more than $4.1 million and had $1.8 million in cash on hand.

Defying history, Palm Beach County Democrats ponder incumbent protection

Monday, September 5th, 2011 by George Bennett

As Palm Beach County’s Democratic Party considers a measure to protect incumbents from “unnecessary” primary challenges, it’s worth noting that some of the biggest local Democratic names of the last two decades were once outsiders who challenged incumbents in Democratic primaries.

Former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler first gained office by ousting Democratic incumbent Don Childers in a 1990 state Senate primary. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Klein‘s electoral debut was unseating Steve Press in a 1992 Democratic state House primary. County Commissioner Burt Aaronson won his seat by toppling Carole Phillips in a 1992 Democratic primary.

After giving up her state House seat in 1992 to pursue a failed congressional bid, Lois Frankel made a comeback in 1994 by challenging the one-term incumbent who had replaced her, former Frankel aide Mimi McAndrews, and defeating her in a memorably bitter Democratic primary.

Facing state House term limits in 2000, Addie Greene set her sights on the county commission and pushed aside veteran incumbent Maude Ford Lee in a Democratic primary.

State Rep. Irving Slosberg first gained office in 2000 by beating incumbent Curt Levine in a Democratic state House primary.

Tax Collector Anne Gannon made a failed try to defeat incumbent Suzanne Jacobs in a 1994 Democratic state House primary. Before winning his seat in 2010, state Rep. Steve Perman tried and failed to oust Richard Machek in a 2006 Democratic state House primary.

Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher won her nonpartisan office in 2008 by defeating incumbent and fellow Democrat Arthur Anderson.

Where Palm Beach County’s congressmen stand as the 2012 money chase begins

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 by George Bennett

Rooney: early cash king

Federal candidates filed reports Monday showing their campaign bank account balances as of Dec. 31.

After raising and spending more than $6.5 million on his 2010 race to unseat Democrat Ron Klein, new U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, begins the 2012 cycle with only $52,459 in cash on hand. Should Klein attempt a comeback, he’ll begin with a mere $41,390 in the bank.

After a fairly easy glide to reelection in 2010, U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, begins the 2012 cycle as the Palm Beach County delegation’s money leader with $432,474 in cash on hand.

Foley: seven-figure leftover account

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, reported $128,766 in cash on hand.

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, reported $161,204 in cash on hand.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Foley still has more than $1.2 million in his campaign account. And former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler’s campaign still has $320,673.

Democratic Senate nominee Meek touts three Democratic endorsements

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 by George Bennett



A Democratic Senate nominee touting endorsements from Democratic state legislators during a general election campaign suggests something unusual is going on in Florida’s Senate race.

Fighting independent candidate Charlie Crist for Democratic votes and bracing for former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler’s rumored endorsement of Crist, Democrat Kendrick Meek announced today that three more Democratic state House members are backing him, including Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach.

Says Pafford, who represents many former Wexler condo constituents: “Kendrick Meek’s career has always been defined by his commitment to the people of Florida. Like me, he has stood in opposition to big oil and offshore oil drilling to protect Florida’s coastlines. Kendrick also understands the importance of protecting another natural resource: our children. As a father I am grateful that Kendrick fought to restrict class sizes so that our children can excel. I am honored to give Kendrick my support and will continue to fight with him for Florida.”

Read the whole Meek campaign release after the jump…


Crist woos Dems, won’t answer caucus question, explains Greer refund

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 by George Bennett

COCONUT CREEK — Republican-turned-independent Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist courted Democratic voters this morning — but wouldn’t say whether he’d align with Democrats or the GOP if he’s elected in November.

“I’m not answering that question, because I’ve said that I will caucus with the people of Florida,” Crist told reporters after speaking to a crowd of about 500 at the heavily Democratic Wynmoor retirement community.

Crist was introduced by Democratic state Rep. Ari Porth, who has endorsed him. Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Ring and Republican Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti were also on hand, but said they have not made endorsements.


Crist taps Democratic media firm used by Obama, Lieberman, Bloomberg

Saturday, June 5th, 2010 by George Bennett

Stimulus pals, Gulf visitors and SKD Knickerbocker clients Crist and Obama.

Stimulus pals, Gulf visitors and SKD Knickerbocker clients Crist and Obama.

Charlie Crist’s hiring of the SKD Knickerbocker media firm is another sign the Republican-turned-indie guv is making a serious play for Democratic votes in his U.S. Senate bid.

Crist has already signed “fire-breathing liberal” Democrat Robert Wexler’s former political consultant, Eric Johnson, to help him in Dem-heavy South Florida.

SKD Knickerbocker’s partners include Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and its website boasts that it has “helped countless Democratic candidates and campaigns navigate tough races and win.”

Its client roster includes Obama, Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown and Jay Rockefeller, Orlando-area Democratic U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas and the para-Democratic Service Employees International Union.

The firm has also handled big-time indie campaigns for Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. says Wexler being ‘courted’ to be ambassador to Israel

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 by George Bennett



Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, who was candidate Barack Obama’s envoy to South Florida Jewish voters in 2008, is being “courted” to be President Obama’s ambassador to Israel, unnamed “Washington Middle East hands” tell

Wexler left his Palm Beach-Broward congressional seat in January to head the nonprofit S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.

On a purely political note, a Wexler ambassadorship would presumably end chatter about Wexler endorsing his pal Charlie Crist‘s Senate bid and steering Democratic votes to the indie candidate.

Dem strategist says he got Wexler’s ‘blessing’ before signing up with Crist

Monday, May 24th, 2010 by George Bennett

Eric Johnson, longtime political adviser and chief of staff to former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, says he’ got Wexler’s “blessing” before taking a job last week as a consultant to Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist’s Senate campaign.

Wexler, now heading a Middle East think tank, has stayed out of the Senate race.

Read about it in this week’s Politics column.

Can indie Crist rekindle that 2007 Democratic love?

Friday, April 30th, 2010 by George Bennett

Former Democratic Rep. and condo icon Robert Wexler with formerly Republican Gov. Charlie Crist at a 2007 bipartisan lovefest west of Delray Beach.

Former Democratic Rep. and condo icon Robert Wexler with formerly Republican Gov. Charlie Crist at a 2007 bipartisan lovefest west of Delray Beach.

Remember when Republican Gov. Charlie Crist basked in south-county Democratic love for championing Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler’s call for paper ballots to replace electronic voting?

Some key Palm Beach County Democrats say Crist’s new independent bid for U.S. Senate could peel away Democratic votes from Dem frontrunner Kendrick Meek in the fall.

And the Democrat-oriented Public Policy Polling firm speculates that Crist, despite his Republican history, could take more votes from Meek than he does from presumptive Republican Senate nominee Marco Rubio.

“There are going to be a lot of races this year where a Republican leaning third party candidate would do Democrats a lot of good. The Florida Senate race is not going to be one of them. If Charlie Crist’s independent run has any impact on Kendrick Meek’s chances of winning it’s likely to be negative,” says a PPP blog post.

No Wexlerian residency flap for Deutch — he’ll keep home in West Boca

Thursday, April 15th, 2010 by George Bennett

Democrat Ted Deutch, who is to be sworn into Congress today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, says his home and family will remain in West Boca while he’s representing District 19 in Washington.

Former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler’s decision to move his wife and kids to Maryland and to declare Florida residency at his in-laws’ house in West Delray caused a flap in 2008 — although Wexler still cruised to reelection that year with 66.2 percent.

Final Broward numbers: Deutch 53.8 percent; bigger lead in Palm Beach County

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

With all 93 precincts reporting in Broward County, which makes up about 30 percent of congressional District 19, Democrat Ted Deutch got 53.8 percent to 42.8 percent for Republican Ed Lynch and 3.4 percent for no-party candidate Jim McCormick.

About one-third of Palm Beach County precincts have reported and Deutch has about 65 percent of the vote there.

The Associated Press has declared Deutch the winner and Deutch just gave a victory speech to hundreds of cheering supporters in Boca Raton.

More partial numbers: Deutch gets 69.5 percent of Palm Beach County early vote

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

Ted Deutch got 69.5 percent of the early vote in Palm Beach County to 29.6 percent for Republican Ed Lynch in the special election to replace Robert Wexler.

Absentee and precinct numbers for Palm Beach County haven’t been posted. Palm Beach County is about 70 percent of congressional District 19.

Combined with partial results from Broward County, Deutch has about 63 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Lynch and the remainder for no-party candidate Jim McCormick.

Results are starting to trickle in, so keep visiting the PostOnPolitics blog and

Partial Broward results: Deutch 56.2%, Lynch 40.3%, McCormick 3.4%

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

Early and absentee ballots from Broward County show Democrat Ted Deutch with 56.2 percent of the vote and Republican Ed Lynch with 40.3 percent in the special congressional election to replace Robert Wexler. No-party candidate Jim McCormick has 3.

Precinct results are not yet in from Broward County, which makes up about 30 percent of congressional District 19.

No results have been posted yet from Palm Beach County.

It’s election day in congressional District 19

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

Voters in congressional District 19 today will choose a replacement for U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, the Democrat who stepped down in January to head a Middle East think tank.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The district has more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans and voted 65 percent for Barack Obama in 2008. That makes Ted Deutch, a state Senator from Boca Raton, the heavy favorite. But Republican Ed Lynch hopes to ride voter dislike for the new Democratic health care law to an upset victory. And independent candidate Jim McCormick hopes enough voters are fed up with two-party politics to propel him into office.

The winner serves the last 8-1/2 months of Wexler’s term and will be up for reelection to a full two-year term in the fall.

For a recent summary of where the candidates stand on key issues, click here.

Final days: Lynch rips Obamacare while Deutch riffs at Delray Affair

Monday, April 12th, 2010 by George Bennett

Republican Ed Lynch aired an ad ripping Obamacare over the final weekend before Tuesday’s special congressional election to replace Robert Wexler. Democrat Ted Deutch did his best impression of legendary Chess session man Lafayette Leake as he joined the band Riptide at Delray Affair on Saturday night and supplied keyboard accompaniment to a cover of Bo Diddley’s Before You Accuse Me.

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