Since his election to U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, Ted Deutch has become a popular politician in northern Broward and southwest Palm Beach County.
Now he's running for a farther-south seat that will make him more of a full-time fixture in Broward.
The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board strongly endorses Deutch in the District 22 race because he has proven himself to be a smart and responsive Congressman with real leadership potential.
After redistricting placed Deutch and Lois Frankel in the same district, they agreed not to run against one another. Instead, they swapped seats. Previously, Deutch represented only a small portion of northwest Broward. In the new district, he would represent only a small portion of Palm Beach County, primarily Boca Raton and Highland Beach. The rest of the district lies within Broward.
Deutch, 50, is running against Republican Andrea McGee, a 33-year-old Realtor from Pompano Beach.
McGee is a nice person, but she is out of her league in running for Congress. This is her second attempt, having lost in the 2014 Republican primary. This time, she faced no primary opponent.
If McGee wants to succeed in politics, she'd be better off running for a local or state race and better learning the region and the issues.
In their joint candidate interview with the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, for example, McGee was unaware of the Congressional battle over Zika funding — a key issue facing South Florida at the time.
McGee calls Deutch "a nice guy," but accuses him of "district chasing." She points out that he doesn't live in the district, which is true. Deutch lives in a part of Boca that is part of the new District 21. However, congressmen are not required to live in their districts and Deutch shouldn't be penalized for living just outside the lines of a city that remains in his district.
Deutch, a former state lawmaker, was first elected to Congress six years ago after Robert Wexler resigned to lead the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation. In his first race, Deutch defeated Republican Edward Lynch by 27 points. He hasn't faced a Republican opponent since then, until now.
Deutch is a strong advocate for issues that affect South Florida, including strengthening Social Security and Medicare, stronger environmental protections and keeping flood insurance rates affordable for consumers.
He has repeatedly urged Gov. Rick Scott to empower the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to regulate healthcare insurance premiums to expand care and lower costs. He considers this a strengthening of the Affordable Care Act.
He opposed the Iran nuclear deal, but now that it's passed, he wants Congress to ensure Iran fully complies with its terms.
"In addition, I will continue to support efforts to punish the Iranian regime for its nefarious activities outside of their nuclear program, including its support of terrorist groups around the world, its egregious human rights violations against its own population, and its testing of ballistic missiles capable of transporting nuclear weapons," he wrote on his questionnaire.
Deutch has introduced bills to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and restrict the sale and possession of firearms with high-capacity magazines. Of the bills he's sponsored, nearly a quarter have addressed crime and law enforcement issues.
Deutch has been an asset for Palm Beach County and will continue to be the same for Broward. There's no question he's the better candidate in this race.
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