Original post | 10:40 a.m.
Updated | 11:47 a.m.
Alex Lewy, who’s been running for the state House of Representatives for more than a year, is dropping out and also resigning his seat on the Hallandale Beach City Commission.
Lewy is taking a staff job with the big pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC.
“It was a tough decision that I had to make between one passion and another,” he said Thursday in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C. “This wasn’t a job that I was looking for. It was the right place and the right time. They actually approached me.”
Lewy, 32, has been a Hallandale Beach commissioner since 2010. He also spent more than six years as an aide to former U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, both Miami Democrats whose district includes parts of South Broward.
Lewy is Hispanic and Jewish, with background that is German and Colombian. He has also been an outspoken advocate on behalf of the gay and lesbian community.
He’s also a prolific tweeter, often posting inspirational quotations, political messages and commenting on sports.
Because he’ll be representing AIPAC, he’ll be pulling back from partisan political activities, though he said he can remain involved in nonpartisan civic efforts.
“This is a step back from being involved in partisan activities. So I will no longer be endorsing candidates, financially supporting candidates, being involved in political debate of any kind in the public sector. I’ll be solely focused on pro-Israel politics.”
He’ll become AIPAC’s area director for Miami-Dade County on May 12. He’ll resign from the Hallandale Beach Commission on May 11.
After his resignation takes effect, Lewy said the City Commission can appoint a replacement to fill his term, which expires in November.
He’ll also withdraw his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to run for state House of Representatives in District 100.
The Broward/Miami-Dade County seat’s current occupant, state Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, can't run for re-election because of term limits.
The district is 45.9 percent Democratic, 23.8 percent Republican and 30.3 percent independent/no party affiliation, which makes winning the Democratic primary tantamount to winning the election. In 2012, Republicans didn't bother to field a candidate.
The remaining Democratic candidates are:
•Joe Geller, the only Miami-Dade County candidate. He’s the older brother of former Florida Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller, D-Cooper City. Joe Geller served two terms as mayor of North Bay Village.
He has raised $93,250 and spent $28,476 and received another $1,694 in donated goods and services. He’s also lent $25,000 of his own money to his campaign.
•Benjamin Samuel Sorensen of Hollywood. He’s raised $18,708, spent $22,916 and loaned his campaign $8,000.
•John Paul Alvarez, who lists a Hallandale Beach address. He’s raised $9,050, spent $7,239, and received $4,251 in donated goods and services. He’s also loaned his campaign $9,634.
About 50.6 percent of the Democratic registered voters live in Broward and 49.4 percent in Miami-Dade County.
Republican Martin Alan Feigenbaum of Surfside is also running, but he has raised little since entering the race in December. He’s raised $1,075 and spent $1,002. He’s also loaned $3,000 of his own money to his campaign, according to the latest reports filed with the state.
There’s also a Libertarian Party member, Omar E. Recuero of Hollywood, in the race. He’s raised $596, spent $95, and lent his campaign $200.