Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch announced Monday that he would not seek re-election and would instead take over as CEO of the advocacy group the American Jewish Committee. CBSMiami, which first broke the news, says that the Florida congressman will resign at some point before the end of the 117th Congress; Deutch did not directly address that possibility in his statement, though he said he would “fulfill my obligations in Washington until Congress recesses for the next election.”
The current version of 22nd District, a South Florida seat that includes Boca Raton and northeast Broward County, supported Joe Biden 57-42. Redistricting is still in progress in Florida, but it’s very likely that this will remain a reliably blue constituency.
Deutch himself worked in real estate when he became active in Sunshine State politics in the 1990s when he raised money for both of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns. Deutch ran for office for the first time in 2006 when he sought a safely blue-state Senate seat, but he faced a tough primary opponent in state Rep. Irv Slosberg, who self-funded $2.8 million. Deutch, though, had the backing of several prominent local Democrats, including Rep. Robert Wexler, as well as labor groups, and he won the nomination 55-45 after a campaign where, in the words of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Slosberg lobbied “one negative attack ad after another.”
Deutch got his chance to seek a promotion in 2010 when Wexler surprised politicos by resigning in 2010 what was then numbered the 19th District and later announced he would head a Middle East policy think tank. This time, though, Deutch quickly emerged as the only serious Democratic candidate, and he had no trouble winning either the special primary and general elections or holding onto his new safely Democratic constituency in November.
Deutch had no trouble claiming the new 21st District after the 2012 round of redistricting, but the court-drawn 2016 map dramatically reshaped both his seat and fellow Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel’s 22nd. Deutch ended up running for the 22nd while Frankel sought the 21st even though a plurality of their constituents lived in the opposite district, an arrangement that suited them both: The redrawn 21st included much of Frankel's Palm Beach County base while Deutch was well-known in the Broward County-based 22nd, and neither member had any problems winning. Deutch went on to attract national attention for his gun safety advocacy in 2018 after the Parkland shooting occurred in his district.