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Wexler gives local Dems a 'free pass'

U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler's early retirement presents Broward and Palm Beach politicians with a tempting offer: a quick, risk-free election for an open congressional seat with great job security.

Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to schedule a special election to replace Wexler in the next few months, allowing candidates to avoid a protracted and expensive campaign for one of Congress' safest Democratic districts, which straddles the Broward-Palm Beach County line. What's more, state lawmakers and county officials don't have to resign to run for federal office -- so if they lose, they can remain in their current posts.

"It's a free pass. Highly unusual,'' said Mark Alan Siegel, chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party. It makes the dynamic different than any other Florida race you have seen.''

Story here