Florida 19th News
Incumbent Robert Wexler will have primary opposition in 2008.
Democrat Ben Graber, a former Broward County commissioner and state House member, announced Monday that he'll challenge six-term U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, in a primary next year.As fun as any Democratic(Or Republican) bloodletting may be, Wexler's incumbent status has to make him a heavy favorite. This is a Democratic district, no serious Republican has ever made a run in the 19th.
Graber has been considering a Wexler challenge for months. He also flirted briefly with the idea of switching parties and running as a Republican against U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton.
In recent weeks, Graber has taken out ads in the Jewish Journal criticizing Wexler's stance on Iraq. Wexler voted to authorize the war in 2002, then was one of only three House members to vote for an immediate withdrawal in 2005.
Graber says the 2002 war vote was a mistake, but a speedy U.S. pullout would make a bad situation worse.
Graber said Monday he favors "disengagement and withdrawal," with the U.S. assuming a "secondary role" in Iraq by the end of 2007, then withdrawing about two-thirds of troops by the end of 2008. The remaining U.S. troops would then "back up" Iraqi forces.
Wexler, 46, hasn't had an opponent in his heavily Democratic Palm Beach-Broward district since 2002 or a close race since his initial run for Congress in 1996. He won the seat after running against Graber and two other Democrats in a primary. Graber finished third and then endorsed Wexler in a Democratic runoff against Peter Weinstein.
Graber, 58, lost a state Senate primary last year to Wexler-backed Jeremy Ring. At the same time, former state Rep. Irving Slosberg was losing a Democratic primary to Wexler-backed Ted Deutch.
Wexler chief of staff Eric Johnson called Graber's candidacy "a Slosberg-Graber joint effort that is more about payback than about advancing a Democratic agenda."
Graber denied a revenge motive.
As for the choice between Graber and Wexler, there is little difference. Just one Knucklehead versus another.
Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, Conservative Thoughts,