Deutch Wins Special Election to Replace Wexler

Posted April 13, 2010 at 8:53pm

State Sen. Ted Deutch (D) cruised to victory Tuesday in the special election to succeed former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) in the overwhelmingly Democratic 19th district.

With 59 percent reporting, the Associated Press called the race with Deutch leading Edward Lynch (R), 62 percent to 36 percent.

Lynch hoped to pull of an upset in the special election by making his campaign a referendum on the controversial health care bill that passed the House last month. But the strong Democratic bent of the district — which gave President Barack Obama 66 percent of the vote in 2008 — proved too strong for Lynch to overcome.

Lynch held Deutch to 54 percent in Broward County while Lynch took 43 percent, according to unofficial results. But Deutch did much better in Palm Beach County.

Deutch earned Wexler’s endorsement soon after the Congressman announced in October that he would step down from his seat. Deutch also gained the support of other local, state and national Democratic leaders, including former president Bill Clinton, who traveled to Florida in January to host a fundraiser for the state Senator.

Deutch’s pre-special election campaign report showed that he raised more than $1.35 million for his House bid as of March 24, and late contribution reports showed that another $200,000 poured into his campaign since then. Lynch raised just more than $100,000 for his bid.