Ted Deutch in a Comfortable Position for 2014 Run
Around the State
Ted Deutch has had a spectacular rise in Florida politics and, as the hours tick down in the qualifying period to run for Congress, he should be prepared for another easy contest in November.
Deutch moved to Florida in 1997. A decade later, the prominent attorney was sitting in the Florida Senate. When Robert Wexler left Congress in 2010, Deutch took on Republican Joe Budd for the open seat. Deutch won 63 percent of the vote against Budd and 2012 was even easier after redistricting. With 78 percent of the vote, Deutch ran over two independent candidates.
While he’s generally a liberal -- and one at the political center of the Democratic House caucus -- conservatives can give Deutch some credit for his work on foreign policy. Deutch is an unapologetic supporter of Israel and enemy of Iran. During his time in the Florida Senate, Deutch called for ensuring Florida pension funds weren’t being invested in companies helping Iran’s quest to become a nuclear power. Deutch continues to support Israel and go after Iran on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.
Still, that’s not to say Deutch is a conservative, by any means. Deutch has even introduced a constitutional amendment which will raise conservatives’ eyebrows. The Florida congressman proposed an “amendment to the Constitution of the United States to expressly exclude for-profit corporations from the rights given to natural persons by the Constitution of the United States, prohibit corporate spending in all elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the states to regulate corporations and to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures,” a sharp contrast to the traditional take of the First and 14th Amendments.
Deutch won’t exactly be on the top of Republican target lists any time soon, though. His district is very solidly Democratic and he has proven to be a strong fundraiser, bringing in more than $2 million in 2010 and more than $1.25 million in 2012. Deutch has already raised more than $722,000 for this election and had almost $587,750 on hand at the end of March.
It looks like Deutch might not need it. Liberal Mike Trout is back for a rematch from 2012. Trout got 13 percent against Deutch in the 2012 general election when he ran as an independent but he’ll have a hard time doing that again since he’s write-in candidate this time out. Former federal Labor Department employee Emmanuel Morel is trying to challenge Deutch in the primary. But Morel had a pathetic $225 in the bank at the end of March.
On the Republican side, HR expert Henry Colon is back. After failing miserably to win a Florida House seat in 2010 and a Florida Senate seat in 2012, Colon appears to be faring no better now that he’s running for Congress. Colon sent off Tweets on Wednesday to prominent Republicans and conservatives like Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh begging for help so he can pay the fee to get on the ballot.
With this kind of opposition, Deutch can feel secure as he runs again. Turning 48 next week, Deutch is set to be a player in Florida politics for the long haul.
Tallahassee-based political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.