The Next Chair of the Democratic Party: Peter Deutsch?


The future direction of the Broward Democratic Party will be decided December 7. 

As appropriate for Pearl Harbor Day, Democratic Chair Mitch Ceasar is preparing for a sneak attack. . .from former U. S. Rep. Peter Deutsch.

Deutsch is widely thought to be planning and plotting against Ceasar.

Ceasar’s term as party chair is up Dec. 7, when an election will be held to either re-elect or replace him.

Only several hundred or so party committee membes can vote.

The prize is a big one in politics. The Broward party is the biggest Democratic organization south of Atlanta, giving the leader immediate entree to the national media and major political figures. 

When asked about Deutsch, Ceasar said: “I’m told he is running, but frankly I don’t know if he is or isn’t.

Deutsch doesn’t have to surface until the meeting.  That’s when he would be nominated from the floor.

So Deutsch has plenty of time to campaign quietly and back out if he believes he won’t win.

The opponents of Ceasar have two big issues.

First, the chair is blamed by some for not doing more to prevent Republican Al Lamberti’s victory.   

Then there is the criticism of Ceasar’s day job lobbying and lawyering.

Deutsch, too, is a lawyer.  A Yale trained lawyer, no less.  He has seldom, if ever, practiced seriously in Broward.

He preferred politics.

In 1982 when he was 25, Deutsch was elected to the Florida House. While in the House, he made some local enemies. 

Then state Rep. Steve Geller was hospitalized in the early 1990s, but got special permission from his doctor to leave the hospital.  He was pushed into a Broward Legislative Delegation meeting in a wheel chair while breathing from an oxygen tank, just to vote against Deutsch for vice chair. Deutsch lost that job to then state Rep. Ben Graber.  

Voters were kinder to Deutsch then his colleagues  In 1992, they sent him to the U. S. House.

In 2004, Deutsch ran a bitter Democratic primary campaign for the U. S. Senate against Betty Castor.  During the campaign, a group run by lobbyist Bernie Friedman of Hollywood attacked Castor.

A former university president, Castor was accused of being weak on terrorists because of her failure to fire a professor accused of connections to Islamic Jihad.

Although Castor won the primary, she lost the general election to Mel Martinez, the Republican. 

Some Democrats blamed the loss on Deutsch.  They said his slashing primary ad campaign smeared Castor so badly she could never recover.

Since the 2004 loss, Deutsch has lived off-and-on in Israel. He also helped start a charter school in Hollywood, which teaches Hebrew and serves kosher meals.  

Deutsch’s campaign has the support of some union folks and others long associated with the former Hollywood congressman. There is even talk that Marta Prado, wife of former Attorney General Bob Butterworth, will be on Deutsch’s ticket.  

That sounds a lot like Back To The Future.  Why can’t anybody find some of those enthusiastic Obama youths to bring new blood into the party?  Why is the Democratic Party always looking at the same, old collection of pols from the past.  

Ceasar assured me Tuesday that he had the votes to win.

But if Deutsch runs, Ceasar would have his first serious challenger with a well-known name in years. 


4 Responses to “The Next Chair of the Democratic Party: Peter Deutsch?”

  1. therealdem says:

    Peter Deutsch!?!?!

    You must be kidding. What has he done lately? What has he ever done?

  2. akodakmoment says:

    Mitch Ceasar has tried his hardest. He is faced with a dying party operation. A bunch of 80 year olds who won’t get out of their seats unless you offer them free bagels. He needs to go out and recruit new active members, but that is hard. Younger Democratics don’t have the time becauase they are raising families and have better things to do than sit at the DEC doing mental masterbation all night. I agree that Cesar or whoever should involve the Obama people. Do they want to get involved?

  3. Politics dude says:

    I’m new to the process. I went to a DEC meeting in October and was turned off.

  4. Oops!!! says:

    That’s so funny… It’s about time Ceasar got a good candidate to run against him, but, I doubt seriously Deutsch will win because he hasn’t been seen in many years. Besides, the DEC meetings are so boring anyway, who would want to be Chair?