WASHINGTON – Representative Ted Deutch (D-Florida), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism, announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection, and will serve as the next CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
“After serving the public for more than 15 years, I have decided I will not seek reelection this November,” he said in a statement. “Public service was instilled in me by my father, who earned a Purple Heart in the Battle of the Bulge, and it has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Palm Beach and Broward Counties in Congress since 2010,” said Deutch, considered a staunch supporter of Israel. “I am incredibly grateful to my constituents for their support and friendship.”
Deutch is the 31st Democratic lawmaker who won’t seek reelection ahead of the November midterms, as polls indicate that Republicans are expected to take back the House.
“In my seven terms in Congress, I have worked hard and tried to find common ground,” read Deutch’s statement. He was specifically active in Middle East-related issues, and voiced strong support for the Abraham Accords.
“Since 2013, my colleagues have selected me to lead our critical foreign policy work in the Middle East,” he wrote. “Even as Iran continues its illicit quest for nuclear weapons and support for terror groups worldwide, we are also witnessing a new era of cooperation in the Middle East that brings transformative new opportunities.
“For me, this foreign policy work has been a natural continuation of my deep ties to the American Jewish community and my long-standing advocacy on behalf of the US-Israel relationship. I am announcing that I will not be running for reelection to Congress, as I have accepted an offer to serve as the next chief executive officer of the American Jewish Committee.”
The AJC released a statement saying: “Rep. Deutch was unanimously selected by AJC’s 28-member Executive Council, the organization’s most senior lay body, following an extensive national search for a successor to AJC CEO David Harris, who has led the organization since 1990. Mr. Harris will remain AJC CEO until Rep. Deutch assumes the role, after which Mr. Harris will stay on as a consultant for one year to assist in a seamless transition.”
Harris said that he “had the pleasure of knowing and collaborating with Congressman Ted Deutch for years. Apart from being a mensch, he has demonstrated time and again his enduring commitment to the US-Israel relationship, the well-being of Jewish communities around the world, the fight against rising antisemitism from a multiplicity of sources, [and] the danger of a nuclear Iran. I wish him every success in his future at this amazing, one-of-kind global Jewish organization, and will do everything possible to help ensure a smooth transition.”