When Rep. Ted Deutch (D) announced his retirement, all eyes turned to see when former State Rep. Jared Moskowitz would announce his candidacy to become the next Florida member of the U.S. Congress.
There are other prominent Democrats who may or may not throw their hats in the race, but without question, Moskowitz is the leading Democratic candidate to replace Rep. Ted Deutch.
The scrappy former Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, who worked across political party lines in the DeSantis administration’s effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, has tallied up a significant list of state and local endorsements from Democrats from every faction of the Democratic Party.
From garnering the support of Democratic Progressives Reps. Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith, and State Senator Shevrin Jones, to snatching the support from moderate Democrats like Reps. Evan Jenne and Dan Daley, and Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, Moskowitz is making the case that he is the consensus congressional candidate that will be able to fill the void Rep. Deutch leaves.
“Not only is Shev one of my best friends, he's also a steadfast warrior for our community. His powerful speeches and critical work in the fight to protect voting rights are awe-inspiring,” stated Moskowitz of Sen. Jones.
.@TedDeutch says he's not (yet) endorsing a potential successor.
If/when he does, sounds as if it'll be @JaredEMoskowitz.
“Jared’s outstanding. I don’t have a plan to get involved right now. Jared’s a great candidate."https://t.co/igbAR29k5g pic.twitter.com/tGhesaL5WN
— Anthony Man (@browardpolitics) March 14, 2022
But while Moskowitz continues to reach out to many other South Florida Democratic state representatives and senators for their support, will Florida’s Congressional delegation break early for him?
Rep. Deutch is said to be staying out of this Democratic primary race, but could Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lois Frankel step up and back Moskowitz?
Moskowitz’s campaign push to shore up his Democratic bona fides seems to be working, but it may not completely clear the field of potential congressional opponents who may see the married father of two as being too moderate of a candidate.
As far as Republicans, State Rep. Chip LaMarca told The Floridian that is “looking at the seat” and he and his wife Eileen would decide on whether to leave a safe state House seat to run for Congress after the 2022 legislative session ends.
Former State Rep. George Moraitis (R) and possibly his wife, Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Heather Moraitis, are said to be thinking about running as well.
Attorney Jim Pruden, who won the 2022 Republican congressional nomination in this seat, has already announced his candidacy. Activist and small business owner Darlene Swaffar is also running.
But just as both Democrats and Republicans gear up for their respective congressional races, all candidates will have to hold off several more weeks, as a special session to finalize the redistricting process will first have to be addressed.
Gov. DeSantis and the Republican-led legislature are at odds over the proposed congressional maps.
From the looks of it, regardless of how the final congressional map is drawn, it appears as if Rep. Deutch’s congressional district could become a very, very safe Democrat seat.
If this scenario plays out, the clear advantage would go to Moskowitz, and Rep. LaMarca would probably not run for Congress.