31 and counting: Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch will not run for reelection

(John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

The number of House Democrats deciding to retire to seek another office continues to climb. Today, congressman Ted Deutch of Florida bring the 31st Democrats to give up a seat. Deutch will be taking a leadership position at a major Jewish advocacy group.


The decision by Deutch, who represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, will come as a surprise to many and could set off a scramble among Democrats to replace him. A popular and affable leader in the House, Deutch easily won his last three elections with 60 percent of the vote…

Deutch is leaving Congress to assume a senior leadership position with the American Jewish Committee, sources tell CBS Miami…

With Democrats likely to lose control of Congress in November, the 55-year-old Deutch becomes the 31st Democrat to give up their House seat this year.

Depending on the timing of when he formally resigns, his departure will leave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a razor thin majority in the House.

As to when Rep. Deutch will step down, he hasn’t released a statement about it yet but Jewish Insider reports the current leader of the American Jewish Committee is scheduled to step down in October:

The organization announced Harris’s departure in July 2021. The original announcement said that Harris would leave the organization in May 2022, but stay on as a consultant through June 2023. Harris will now depart AJC in October, when Deutch assumes the role, and will stay on as a consultant for the next year.

Rep. Deutch made news last year when he blasted Rep. Rashida Tlaib during a debate over funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.


Israel is guilty of “numerous war crimes,” Tlaib said, and Congress should discuss the “Palestinian need for security from Israeli attacks.”…

Deutch said Congress should support the Iron Dome funding “if you believe in human rights, if you believe in saving lives, Israeli lives, and Palestinian lives.”

Tlaib, Deutch said, “besmirched our ally” and “falsely characterized the state of Israel” in a manner “consistent with those who advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world.”

“When there’s no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s antisemitism,” said Deutch, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Deutch becomes the 31st House Democrat to jump ship. His district in Florida leans heavily Democratic so he’s probably not retiring because he expects to lose his seat. Even in his absence, this won’t be an easy pick up for the GOP. What I think this points to is that individual Democrats are continuing to think about what life will be like for them in the minority and many have decided they have better things to do.

About an hour after word of his retirement broke on Twitter, Rep. Deutch released a statement. Here’s a portion of it.

After serving the public for more than 15 years, I have decided I will not seek re-election this November. Public service was instilled in me by my father who earned a Purple Heart in the Battle of the Bulge, and it has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Palm Beach and Broward Counties in Congress since 2010. I am incredibly grateful to my constituents for their support and friendship…

I will be forever grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve our community and to serve our country. I have been touched and inspired by so many people I have been privileged to meet. I have seen the good that can be accomplished when we work together, and I am forever hopeful about our future. Serving as your representative has been the greatest honor of my life.


In advance of the 2018 midterms, 34 House Republicans decided to leave office. The election that year was a blowout with the GOP losing 41 seats. This year Democrats are up to 31 resignations and retirements so far. It’s not hard to see what’s coming this November.

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