Peter Deutsch

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Peter Deutsch
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 20th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2005
Preceded byDante Fascell (Redistricting)
Succeeded byDebbie Wasserman Schultz
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 90th district
In office
November 2, 1982 – November 3, 1992
Preceded byFranklin B. Mann[1]
Succeeded byJohn Rayson[2]
Personal details
Born (1957-04-01) April 1, 1957 (age 67)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseLori Deutsch
EducationSwarthmore College (BA)
Yale University (JD)

Peter Russell Deutsch[3][4] (born April 1, 1957) is an American politician from the U.S. state of Florida. Deutsch was a Democratic Representative from Florida's 20th congressional district from 1993 until 2005.[5]


Deutsch was born in the borough of the Bronx in New York City in 1957.

He graduated from the Horace Mann School in 1975 and attended Swarthmore College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. In college, he worked as an intern for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Deutsch graduated from Yale Law School with a Juris Doctor in 1982.[6]

After graduating from Yale, Deutsch moved to Broward County, Florida, where he was a lawyer in private practice. He founded the nonprofit Medicare Information Program of Broward County, while working to help Medicare recipients in the area, and served as the group's director during 1982.

In 1982, Deutsch was elected for the first of five two-year terms in the Florida House of Representatives, where he wrote legislation protecting seniors from illegal nursing home evictions.

In the 1992 House election Deutsch was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He was reelected in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002. Several times, including in 2000 and 2002, he ran for reelection unopposed. In the House he became the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which investigated amongst other things the Enron scandal, the Firestone Tire issue, NIH Conflicts and Martha Stewart’s ImClone stock trading case. Deutsch served from January 3, 1993, to January 3, 2005.

During the Florida election recount after the 2000 presidential election, Deutsch led many of the recount efforts in Broward County and brought the motion to the floor of the Senate to contest the results of the 2000 election, an effort that had been seconded by Alcee Hastings.

U.S. Senate race, 2004[edit]

In 2004, Deutsch declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat being vacated in 2005 by retiring Democratic Senator Bob Graham. Although Deutsch consistently led opinion polls in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area, and had the largest amount of cash on hand for most of the race, he lagged in statewide opinion polls behind rival Betty Castor, whose fundraising dramatically accelerated during the summer of 2004 with the help of EMILY's List, which contributed close to $4.5 million in television and advertising dollars. The Castor campaign was accused of inappropriate coordination with EMILY's List, and a lawsuit was filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

In May 2004, Deutsch hired Roy Teicher, a former television writer, newspaper reporter and editor, as his communications director. In June 2004, he hired Sanford Dickert, CTO for the John Kerry for President Campaign, as his Director of Internet Strategy.[7] In June, he came under heavy criticism from the Castor campaign after American Democracy Project, a 527 group run by Bernie Friedman, began attacking Castor's handling of the Sami al-Arian incident. On March 2, 2006, Al-Arian entered a guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to help the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a "specially designated terrorist" organization.[8] He was sentenced to 57 months in prison, and ordered deported following his prison term.[9] Deutsch denied any involvement in the ADP efforts and denounced their tactics in public.

Later in the campaign, Senator Bob Graham and Florida’s other senator Bill Nelson proposed a pledge between Castor, Deutsch, and Alex Penelas to refrain from negative campaigning; Deutsch agreed to the pledge, but added a clause allowing him to raise "legitimate" electability issues. Deutsch released an ad questioning the veracity of Castor's statements on the investigation and suspension of al-Arian.

Deutsch was defeated by Castor in the Democratic primary on August 31, winning only three counties (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe). Castor went on to lose the Senate election to Republican nominee Mel Martinez. Deutsch was unable to run for reelection to the House because of his Senate campaign, and was succeeded by the new Democratic candidate, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Personal life[edit]

Deutsch currently resides in Ra'anana, Israel, with his family. However, he has not taken Israeli citizenship, does not speak Hebrew, and frequently visits Florida.[10] He also founded Ben Gamla Charter School in Hollywood, Florida. Deutsch and his wife Lori have two children, Jonathan and Danielle.

Electoral history[edit]

Florida's 20th congressional district: Results 1992–2002[11]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992 Peter Deutsch 130,959 55% Beverly Kennedy 91,589 39% James M. Blackburn Independent 15,341 6%
1994 Peter Deutsch 114,623 61% Beverly Kennedy 72,525 39%
1996 Peter Deutsch 159,256 65% Jim Jacobs 85,777 35%
1998 Peter Deutsch ** (no candidate)
2000 Peter Deutsch 156,765 100% (no candidate) *
2002 Peter Deutsch ** (no candidate)
Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2000, write-ins received 187 votes.

**According to Florida law, no totals need be submitted when there is no opposition.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL State House 90 Race - Nov 02, 1982".
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL State House 90 Race - Nov 06, 1990".
  3. ^ Networks of Influence: The Political Power of the Communications Industry. Washington, DC : The Center for Public Integrity. 2005.
  4. ^ Financial Disclosure Reports of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives for the Period Between January 1, 1999 to December 31, 1999. United States House of Representatives. 2000.
  5. ^ "DEUTSCH, Peter R. - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  6. ^ "DEUTSCH, Peter R. - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Ed". July 22, 2004. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  8. ^ "Plea Agreement; U.S. v. Al-Arian" (PDF). February 28, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  9. ^ MegLaughlin, In his plea deal, what did Sami Al-Arian admit to?, St. Petersburg Times, April 23, 2006.
  10. ^ "After career in Congress, Peter Deutsch finds new life in Israel". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
  11. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved August 8, 2007.

External links[edit]

Florida House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 90th district

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 20th congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative