Florida Democrat Wins Special Election to Succeed the Late Alcee Hastings

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (Campaign image via Facebook)

Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won the special election to succeed the late Representative Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.) in Florida’s 20th congressional district on Tuesday, according to a projection by the Associated Press.

Cherfilus-McCormick, a progressive Democrat who campaigned on sending Americans a monthly $1,000 check, defeated Republican Jason Mariner, Libertarian Mike ter Maat and independents Leonard Serratore and Jim Flynn.

She was the heavy favorite heading into the election in a deep-blue district that covers areas in and around Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Biden won 77 percent of the vote in the district in 2020.

Cherfilus-McCormick will become the first Democrat of Haitian descent to serve in Congress, according to the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network.

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Her win grows the House Democratic majority to ten lawmakers, though she will have to campaign to keep her seat in the 2022 midterms.

Hastings, who died in April from pancreatic cancer at the age of 84, was a 15-term congressman. Cherfilus-McCormick, who is the CEO of the home health-care company Trinity Health Care Services, twice unsuccessfully challenged Hastings in 2018 and 2020.

She won in a crowded November primary, besting runner-up Broward County commissioner Dale Holness by just five votes.

Holness has filed a lawsuit to overturn the results of the primary, claiming that Cherfilus-McCormick cannot hold office after failing to file necessary financial disclosures and because she effectively bribed voters by vowing to support $1,000 monthly stimulus payments for adults with annual household incomes of less than $75,000 a year.

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