Democrat Donna Shalala has flipped Florida’s 27th Congressional District seat, beating Republican contender Maria Elvira Salazar. Both women were competing for the seat after it was announced in April 2017 that Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen would not be seeking re-election. She had held the position since 1989.
Shalala, seventy-seven, previously served in the Clinton Administration as the US Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Earlier in her career, she served as president of University of Miami and most recently was President of the Clinton Foundation from 2015 – 2017.
Shalala is winning with 51.7% of the vote. This is a key pickup for Democrats, with early polling showing a shift in the district; the 27th had previously been considered a “toss-up” before shifting to “lean Democrat.”
After court-ordered redistricting in 2015, Hillary Clinton won the district in the 2016 Presidential Election by about nineteen points.
Shalala took to Twitter to thank voters saying:
We did it.
It’s all thanks to you. Thousands of Floridians from across the district stood up, and decided to fight for a brighter future for all.
Together, we mobilized — to stand up for a platform of common sense gun reform, support for higher education, environmental protection, and affordable healthcare. To everyone who put their faith in me, I won’t let you down.
Miami is my home — it is the reason why we fought so hard during every day of this campaign, and why we’ll take that resolve to Washington.
Until every child has a fair shot at a higher education, we’re not done.
Until Medicare and Social Security are secure for every senior, we will not rest. Until this heartless administration is held accountable for their numerous injustices, we will not stop. I’m proud to know you had my back. Now, it’s time to fulfill my end of the bargain.
Florida Democrats are still hoping for victories in the hotly contested, high profile gubernatorial race between Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis and the U.S. Senate race between Bill Nelson and Rick Scott .