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Florida - 19th District

Incumbent -- Ted Deutch (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key

Updated Sept. 7, 2010

State Sen. Ted Deutch's easy victory in the Feb. 2 special election primary made him a shoo-in for the April 13 general election that will fill the remaining months of longtime incumbent Wexler's unexpired term. There are a number of districts across the nation where the Democrats' political problems put seats at risk, but this party stronghold in south Florida isn't one of them.

Deutch defeated Edward Lynch, a contractor who took 27 percent as Wexler's 2008 Republican challenger, in April and now will face financial planner Joe Budd in November.

This contest is the result of the surprise resignation by Wexler, who never faced anything resembling a close contest in his seven House elections. He stunned the Florida political world -- and most Congress watchers in Washington -- last fall when he announced his intention to resign his seat by early January to head for a Middle East policy think tank. Wexler actually made his resignation official on Dec. 16, after the House held its last vote of the year.

The 19th District, which Wexler has represented since his first election in 1996, gave Barack Obama 65 percent of its votes in the 2008 presidential election.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Seventy percent of the heavily Democratic 19th's residents live in Palm Beach County and the rest live in Broward County, mostly west of Interstate 95, where subdivisions and gated communities dot the landscape. The 19th has no coastline in either county, and it stretches from a small part of West Palm Beach as far south as a sliver of Fort Lauderdale, taking in parts of Boca Raton, Margate and Deerfield Beach. In the last decade, the district's Hispanic population has grown to one-fifth of the 19th's residents, and the black population has more than doubled.

Despite a high percentage of residents age 65 or older and a history as a home to retirees -- elderly voters still make up a significant portion of the electorate in the 19th's portion of Palm Beach County -- the district has seen a shift toward a more middle-aged population. Older residents make health care an important industry in the district, and federal assistance for the elderly dominates the political agenda. A large Jewish community, primarily in condominium communities that replaced previously rural land in the district, adds foreign policy concerns and U.S. relations with Israel to the political discussion.

Health care facilities in Palm Beach and Broward counties support the district's economy. The 19th's portion of Boca Raton has been home to corporate headquarters for several years and has an established business atmosphere. But the district has not escaped the high unemployment rates plaguing the state, with large-scale layoffs having an impact.

Retirees and the politically active Jewish community have traditionally provided a consistent base of Democratic support throughout much of the district. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2-to-1 here, and Barack Obama won 65 percent of the district's vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Major Industry

Health care, financial services

Cities

Coral Springs (pt.), 77,479; Margate (pt.), 42,477; Greenacres, 37,573; Tamarac (pt.), 28,253; Coconut Creek (pt.), 25,475

Notable

Coconut Creek is home to a butterfly and hummingbird aviary called Butterfly World.

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