Wexler Officially Resigns for Middle East Policy Job

Posted December 16, 2009 at 7:22pm

It’s official: Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) on Wednesday resigned from Congress to become president of the Center for Middle East Peace.Wexler, who has served in the House for seven terms, announced his plan in October but waited until the last vote of the year to resign, effective in January. He has been involved in Middle East policy issues in his role on the Foreign Affairs Committee.“In the coming months, Israeli and Arab leaders will be faced with monumental decisions that will dramatically affect the region and the entire world for decades to come. Critically important American security and foreign policy interests are also at stake. I am convinced that now is the time for me to engage on these issues on a full time basis,— Wexler said in a statement that was read on the House floor.Wexler’s departure will set up a special election in his southeastern Florida seat. The 19th district is safe Democratic territory where President Barack Obama took two-thirds of the vote in 2008. A special primary to replace him has been scheduled for Feb. 2, followedby an April 13 general election. State Sen. Ted Deutch (D), who has beenendorsed by Wexler, is the overwhelming frontrunner. He also hasendorsements from Florida Democratic Reps. Alcee Hastings, Ron Klein andDebbie Wasserman Schultz, as well as the Florida AFL-CIO. He faces BenGraber, a former Broward County commissioner and ex-state legislator, inthe Democratic primary.