Political newcomer Nicolas Kimaz taking on incumbent Ted Deutch in Florida’s 22nd congressional district

(WSVN) - An incumbent faces off against a political newcomer in a fight to represent Florida District 22 in Congress. 7’s Craig Stevens breaks down the race.

The Democrat, Representative Ted Deutch, has served in the U.S. House since 2010.

Rep. Ted Deutch: “I represent the values of our district in Washington, and I hope to be privileged to continue to do that.”

Deutch’s Republican challenger, Nicolas Kimaz, has never run for elected office.

Nicolas Kimaz: “Yeah, I embrace the roll of underdog. I’m not a politician. I’m a businessman, an entrepreneur.”

They’re campaigning for Florida’s 22nd congressional district.

It stretches from coastal to northern Broward and into southern Palm Beach County.

Deutch highlights his self-proclaimed ability to reach across party lines as one reason voters should send him back to Washington for another term.

Rep. Ted Deutch: “I’ve been a leader in bringing together Democrats and Republicans to focus on climate change, in working across the aisle to advance American interest, stand up for human rights around the world, strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

Nicolas Kimaz (talking to resident): “Hello, hi. My name is Nicolas Kimaz. I’m running for U.S. Congress.”

Kimaz is running on a conservative agenda, and strongly supports the president and his policies, including “building the wall.”

He describes himself as a “naturopathic healer” by profession.

His slogan: “Heal America Now.”

Nicolas Kimaz: “I’m passionate about America. I’m passionate about our values. I’m passionate about what I’ve learned. I’m passionate because I represent the American Dream. I am the American Dream.”

Kimaz was born in Lebanon and says he immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager during the bloody civil war in his country.

Nicolas Kimaz: “I’m an immigrant — legally. I came to this country legally. That’s the way it should be. We have to follow the law, otherwise it will become a zoo.”

Deutch backs comprehensive immigration reform, including border security and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Rep. Ted Deutch: “We are a nation of immigrants. That’s what makes our country so strong. That’s what makes South Florida especially so strong.”

When it comes to tax cuts, Kimaz credits the Republican tax bill and the administration’s deregulation for the strong economy.

Nicolas Kimaz: “The economy right now is the best since 20, 30 years, and that is because of the hard work and the focus of President Trump and the administration.”

Deutch voted against the tax bill, saying it provided the biggest boost to corporations.

Rep. Ted Deutch: “I thought that we had a chance to pass tax reform that would have insured that all those loop holes, all of the special interest giveaways that the tax code is full of, we could have started to get rid of those to actually have a tax code that is fairer for everyone.”

District 22 includes Parkland, where the debate on gun control is deeply personal.

Deutch wants to ban assault weapons and implement universal background checks.

Rep. Ted Deutch: “All we’re saying is that if you have a background check when you buy a gun at a gun store, you ought to have a background check when you buy a gun at a gun show or if you buy one online.”

Kimaz says he does not support universal background checks or an assault weapons ban.

Nicolas Kimaz: “The cause of our problems in schools right now is we have removed God from schools. We have removed prayers. The problem is not the gun. The problem is society.”


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