Donna Shalala
Walking Gallery Jacket and Donna Shalala Walking Gallery Jacket and Donna Shalala

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 .

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