Commissioner announces run for Deutch’s congressional seat

MIAMI (AP) — Democratic Broward County Commissioner and former Florida emergency management director Jared Moskowitz announced Friday that he will run for the South Florida congressional seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch.

Moskowitz is the first candidate to announce his intentions for Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“In Congress, I will fight to guarantee access to the ballot box, protect Social Security and Medicare, work for real gun safety measures and fight for the safety and protection of the State of Israel,” Moskowitz said in a statement. “I also look forward to working closely with the White House on its ‘Cancer Moonshot’ initiative to finally find a cure for the disease which has taken far too many good people from us, including my father.”

Moskowitz’s father, Michael Moskowitz, was a prominent South Florida attorney and Democratic fundraiser. He died of pancreatic cancer in January.

Jared Moskowitz previously served in the Florida House, where he led the first successful effort in decades to pass a bipartisan gun safety bill in the Florida Legislature. The legislation was prompted by the fatal shooting of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. Moskowitz himself attended the school years earlier.

Moskowitz went on to serve as director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. Moskowitz helped lead the statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic and several large hurricanes. During the pandemic, he oversaw the procurement of personal protective equipment for frontline workers, organized the distribution of the vaccine and worked with federal officials to open COVID-19 testing sites.

Deutch announced Monday that he will not seek reelection in the fall after accepting an offer to serve as a CEO for the American Jewish Committee, a New York City-based nonprofit. He’s served in Congress since 2010.

Florida’s House and Senate are redrawing the state’s congressional maps, a once-a-decade redistricting process following the federal census. While each proposal makes changes to Deutch’s district because of population changes, the new district should remain safely Democratic.