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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Robert Wexler stepping down for Middle East policy job



UPDATE: Wexler is going to be director of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation.


Democratic sources say U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler of Boca Raton is either stepping down or announcing that he is not seeking re-election because of a new job. Rumors have circulated since the election that Wexler would get a post in President Barack Obama's administration, though it's not clear if that's where Wexler is headed.

Wexler, who is serving his seventh term, is known as a unapologetic liberal and fierce defender of Israel. If he stepped down early, Gov. Charlie Crist -- a close friend -- would call a special election to replace him in the heavily Democratic congressional district that covers northern Broward and southern Palm Beach counties. You can bet every state lawmaker and city/county commission in spitting distance would consider jumping in since in a special election, anything can happen. Plus, local officials can run for a federal office without having to resign their current job. The names already being dropped are state Sen. Jeremy Ring, State Sen. Ted Deutch, West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and former Broward County Commissioner Ben Graber.

Beth Reinhard

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:22pm]


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