John Gizzi's Short Takes

Florida-19 is “Deutch-Land:”  To the surprise of no one, Democratic State Sen. Ted Deutch last week won the special election for Congress in Florida’s 19th District (Boca Raton), winning 61% to 36% over Republican candidate Ed Lynch, a local contractor. In a district in which Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1, Lynch’s calls for voters to send a message of rejection of the Obama-backed healthcare bill fell on deaf ears.

Deutch will succeed former Rep. and fellow liberal Democrat Robert Wexler, who resigned to join a Middle East think tank.

Pile up on Griffith: Although Alabama freshman Rep. Parker Griffith switched from Democrat to Republican last year and voted against the Obama-backed healthcare bill twice, Republicans in Alabama’s 5th District don’t seem very impressed.

Businessman Les Phillip announced last week that he will not abandon his bid for the Republican nomination. Phillip, who is black, has the support of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Also last week, GOP businessman Wayne Parker, who lost a tight race to Griffith in ’08, announced that he would not run again. But Parker also announced he was supporting another Republican hopeful, County Commissioner Mo Brooks. 

National GOP operatives privately worry that a defeat of Griffith (lifetime ACU rating: 56%) in the primary might discourage other Southern Democrats from changing parties.