Wexler to Leave Congress for Nonprofit Middle East Policy Job

Posted October 14, 2009 at 9:49am

Florida Rep. Robert Wexler (D) announced Wednesday that he will leave Congress in January to become president of the nonprofit Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation.“Taking over as president of the Center for Middle East Peace offers me an unparalleled opportunity to work on behalf of Middle East peace for an important and influential non-profit institute,— the Congressman said in a statement Wednesday morning. “After much discussion with my family, I have decided that I cannot pass up on this opportunity.—Wexler said one of his overriding passions during his seven terms in Congress has been his work on the Foreign Affairs Committee to “strengthen and preserve the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel, and working toward a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians and between Israel and the Arab world.— “My one regret is that I will be unable to complete my current term in office, but I truly believe there is no time to waste. We are at a unique and critically tense moment in the history of the Middle East. … I am convinced that now is the time for me to engage on these issues on a full time basis.—Wexler’s departure will set up a special election in his southeastern Florida seat. The 19th district is safe Democratic territory where President Barack Obama took two-thirds of the vote in 2008.Among the early possible Democratic candidates mentioned in local news reports are state Sens. Jeremy Ring and Ted Deutch, Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter, West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and former Broward County Commissioner Ben Graber.