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Ted Deutch becomes 31st House Democrat to announce retirement from Congress

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Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchPelosi vows US will fight with Israel ‘against terrorism posed by Iran’ Pelosi leading congressional delegation to Israel, Germany, UK Gloria Estefan presses House Judiciary on radio royalties bill MORE (Fla.) announced on Monday that he will not run for reelection in November, becoming the 31st House Democrat to announce they will not run for reelection in the lower chamber in November.

Deutch will become the CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and in his statement he highlighted an “unprecedented rise in antisemitism” in the U.S. and around the globe.

Deutch, 55, has represented Florida in Congress since 2010 but moved to the 22nd Congressional District from the 21st in 2017 after redistricting.

The race before Deutch’s announcement was not considered competitive by The Cook Political Report, and Deutsch won with 56 percent of the vote in 2020.

CBS Miami first reported on Deutch’s decision to not run for reelection. Deutch plans to stay in Congress until Sept. 30, when the House is set to go on recess ahead of the midterm elections.

“Beyond foreign policy, we have also seen an unprecedented rise in antisemitism in our own country and abroad, and I have been at the forefront of the Congressional response as the founding co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism,” Deutch said in his announcement.

“This critical work, and the opportunity to do it on a global scale, is why I am announcing that I will not be running for re-election to Congress as I have accepted an offer to serve as the next Chief Executive Officer of the American Jewish Committee,” he added.

Democrats are facing tough headwinds ahead of this year’s midterm elections and are widely expected to lose the House majority, a factor that is likely playing a role in the rush of retirements that have been announced this cycle. Republicans only need to flip five seats to take control of the House this November.

For comparison, only 13 House Republicans have said they will not run for reelection this cycle, and two other GOP lawmakers resigned in recent months to take jobs in the private sector.

Deutch currently serves as the Chair of the House Ethics Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism. He is also a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee.

The AJC said its 28-member Executive Council unanimously selected Deutch to be the organization’s next CEO after an “extensive national search” for a successor to current CEO David Harris, who will remain with the group as a consultant for one year once Deutch takes the reins to help with a “seamless transition.” The group said it selected Deutch because of his demonstrated passion for Jewish matters, support for the State of Israel and extensive foreign policy experience, among other aspects.

AJC President Harriet Schleifer said Dutch’s “deep and lifelong commitment to the Jewish community, Israel, and to the protection of democratic values is obvious to all who know him” in a statement announcing his hire.

The AJC is a global Jewish advocacy organization that aims to have an influence on policy and opinions for key issues facing Jewish individuals. Deutch worked on issues important to the Jewish community during his tenure in Congress: he authored bills that bolstered Israel’s security and was a founding Co-Chair of the House Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Antisemitism, among other efforts.

Mike Lillis contributed to this report.

This story was updated at 2:25 p.m.


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