Jan 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick wins House special election in Florida

Photo of Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick speaking to reporters around her
Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick speaks with the media on Nov. 12, 2021, in Lauderhill, Florida. Photo: John McCall/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick has won the special election to represent Florida's 22nd congressional district in the House, AP projected Tuesday.

Why it matters: Cherfilus-McCormick will succeed Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D), who died last April after battling pancreatic cancer. Her victory over Republican Jason Mariner means the Democratic Party will once again hold a 222-seat majority in the House.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Solender: The victory provides House Democrats with an extra vote at a time when just a few defections can sink party-line legislation.

  • When Cherfilus-McCormick is sworn in — likely in a matter of days — Democrats will hold 222 seats to Republicans' 212. Still a slim majority, but one that gives Democratic leadership a bit more breathing room.

Details: Cherfilus-McCormick, 42, is the CEO of a health care company and ran on a platform that advocated for Medicare for all, a $20 per hour minimum wage and immigration reform.

  • She had challenged Hastings for the seat in previous elections and will be the first Haitian American to represent Florida in Congress, according to the Washington Post.
  • She won the Democratic nomination in a crowded primary, though a late financial disclosure led to some questions in December, per the Sun Sentinel.
  • Florida's 22nd district is considered safely blue.
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