May 9, 2021

LIVE RESULTS: First-term Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala fights to defend her seat against Republican Maria Elvira Salazar in Floridas 27th Congressional District

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  • Explore more race results below.
  • Polls began closing in Florida at 7 p.m. ET, where first-term Rep. Donna Shalala is facing Republican Maria Elvira Salazar in a rematch for Florida’s 27th Congressional District.
  • The district is located in southern Florida along the state’s eastern coastline. It is home to parts of Miami and contains the famous Cuban-American neighborhood “Little Havana.”
  • See the live coverage and full results from all US House elections.
  • The two candidates originally faced off in 2018 to replace former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, where Shalala defeated Salazar by a margin of 6 percentage points.
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Polls closed at 7 p.m. in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, where first-term Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala looks to defend her House seat from Republican challenger Maria Elvira Salazar.

The candidates

Shalala is a former teacher-turned university leader and cabinet official who brought experience in healthcare policy with her to Congress. She previously served as the president of the University of Miami, the president of Hunter College, and the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Shalala is a former president of the Clinton Foundation and was the US Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001. 

Shalala was 77 years old when elected, making her the oldest member of the 116th Congress’ freshman class. In Congress, Shalala serves on the powerful House Rules Committee and the Committee on Education and Labor. Her reelection campaign platform emphasizes combatting climate change, improving economic opportunity, and expanding access to healthcare. 

See live coverage and full results for the US presidential election

Salazar, Shalala’s opponent, is a broadcast television reporter who has previously worked for Telemundo, CNN Español, Mega TV, and Univision — where she covered the Salvadoran Civil War. Salazar’s campaign platform is centered around term limits for elected officials, anti-Socialism in the US, and affordable healthcare.

The two candidates originally faced off in the 2018 election in the race to replace former Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who had represented the district for 30 years. That year, Shalala defeated Salazar by a margin of six percentage points in a hotly-contested race that attracted lots of outside involvement and spending. 

The district

Florida’s 27th Congressional District is located in southern Florida on the state’s eastern coastline. The district is solely located in Miami-Dade County and is home to parts of Miami, Miami Beach, the famous neighborhood of “Little Havana,” Kendall, and Coral Gables. 

This diverse district is over 71% Hispanic, and is home to a significant population of Cuban-Americans. It is the youngest congressional district in the state and was effectively added to Florida’s congressional map in 2013 following the release of the 2010 US Census.

In the 2016 presidential election, the district voted for Hillary Clinton over now-President Donald Trump by 20 points in a 59-39% split.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Shalala has raised around $3.4 million, spent $2.8 million, and has around $666,000 in cash on hand. Salazar has raised $3.1 million, spent $2.7 million, and has about $423,000 in cash on hand. 

What experts say

The race between Shalala and Salazar is rated as a “safe Democratic” by Inside Elections and as “likely Democratic” by The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics

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