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Ted Deutch wades into CD 18 primary, endorses Lauren Baer over Pam Keith

Lauren Baer announced Monday that Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch endorsed her campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.

“Lauren will be a fierce advocate for students, women, communities of color, and all of us who are affected by the tragedy of gun violence. She is a strong supporter of common-sense gun violence prevention legislation and will fight to protect our communities. I look forward to working with her in Congress as we fight to keep Florida families safe,” Deutch said.

Baer is running against former Navy JAG Pam Keith in the Democratic primary. Mast is so far unopposed in the Republican primary.

“Throughout his distinguished career, in both the state Senate and in Congress, Ted Deutch has been a fighter for his community,” Baer said. “In the aftermath of the tragedy in Parkland, Ted has led not just with words, but with action, proposing the kind of common-sense gun safety reforms that will protect families throughout Florida and America. I am humbled to have his endorsement and look forward to working with him in Congress.”

Baer announced last week that she had officially qualified for the CD 18 ballot by collecting petition signatures from district voters, and two weeks ago she announced that her campaign had raised more than $450,000 in the first three months of the year.

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Through the end of the first quarter, Mast had raised more than $2.9 million for his campaign and had a little over $1.5 million in the bank.

CD 18 covers St. Lucie and Martin counties, as well as a chunk of northern Palm Beach County.

Mast defeated Democratic nominee Randy Perkins by 10 points in the 2016 cycle when the district also voted plus-9 for Donald Trump. Before Mast’s election, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy held the seat for the two terms.

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato‘s “Crystal Ball” currently lists CD 18 as “likely Republican” in the fall.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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