Chip LaMarca eyeing CD 22 seat, will make a decision at the end of Session

Ted Deutch's exit from Congress has produced a number of pols thinking it over.

Republican state Rep. Chip LaMarca said Monday he’s going to decide at the end of the 2022 Legislative Session if he’s running for the congressional seat U.S. Rep Ted Deutch is vacating.

Deutch announced Monday he’ll step down from representing Florida’s 22nd Congressional District when Congress recesses for the next election. LaMarca, of Lighthouse Point and now in his second term as a state lawmaker, appears to be the first among elected leaders to announce the most specific timeline for making a decision.

A few other “maybes” emerged soon after Deutch made his announcement.

Democratic state Sen. Gary Farmer said he’s going to wait until after redistricting is over to announce his plans. In his current position, Farmer could be facing another incumbent Democratic Senator, according to the likely Senate map.

“I look forward to continuing to represent the people of the state of Florida in some capacity,” Farmer said.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said he will soon make a decision on it and Broward County Commissioner Mark Bogen said he’s looking at it but hasn’t made any decisions, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

LaMarca said a former occupant of this seat, Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw, was his inspiration for getting into politics. And, similar to Deutch, LaMarca said he’s demonstrated a willingness to buck his party in the interest of his constituents.

“Although we often disagree, he (Deutch) was always a strong supporter of key issues that have a major impact on the region such as Port Everglades,” said LaMarca, who also served on the Broward County Commission. “I also appreciate that he bucked his party to support freedom for the Cuban people and against the Iran deal. Choosing what’s right over party politics is what our district deserves.”

The area is known to lean toward the Democrats. Shaw, a Republican, represented the district until 2007, when he was defeated by Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein.

LaMarca said being one of the few elected Republicans in Broward County means he’s uniquely prepared for what’s needed in the nation’s capital.

“We all see what has happened to discourse in D.C.,” he said. “If Eileen and I decide that we want to take this journey for the people of Florida, I would be the only candidate that actually has a proven record of working across the aisle and finding solutions for every Floridian.”

Redistricting means the specific contours of CD 22 have not been settled for the next election cycle. One proposed map pitted Deutch against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach, now in Florida’s 21st Congressional District.

Three Republicans and one Democrat already have filed to represent CD 22.

The current CD 22 stretches from Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale, and also covers Coral Springs and Parkland in western Broward.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

One comment

  • Craig T Smith

    February 28, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    A Democratic Congressman resigns from a Democratic seat in the most Democratic County in the state and your headline is about a Republican? Obviously no “fair and balanced” here. Are you “Rootin for Putin” like Trump and the other GOP mouth pieces too?

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