Donna Shalala, once a Clinton administration cabinet secretary, won the Democratic primary for Florida’s 27th district on Tuesday in her first run for office, beating State Rep. David Richardson.
She’s vying to flip the seat being vacated by incumbent Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), who is retiring. The area has gone blue in the past; it overwhelmingly chose Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by 20 percentage points.
Since her time in the White House, Shalala has served as the president of the University of Miami and the head of the Clinton Foundation. She announced her candidacy in March, saying that she never planned to run but Donald Trump’s presidency propelled her to change her mind, she said in her March candidacy announcement video.
“I just woke one morning really pissed off at what was going on in Washington and thought, shoot, I could hit the ground running,” she told HuffPost in June.
She will face off against Maria Elvira Salazar, a Cuban-American former journalist. Shalala’s platform touts her years of experience focused on health care, immigration and gun violence.
“Few people have dedicated their careers to fighting for working families the way Donna Shalala has,” said EMILY’S List president Stephanie Schriock in her endorsement of Shalala.
On the Republican side, climate champion Rep. Carlos Curbelo defeated Souraya Faas, who is known to promote conspiracy theories.