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Donna Shalala Wins Democratic Primary For Ros-Lehtinen’s Seat

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Jose Iglesias
/
Miami Herald
Donna Shalala won the Democratic primary Tuesday night in the race to replace retiring Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Donna Shalala fended off a well-funded challenge from her left to emerge victorious in the Democratic primary for retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat, setting the stage for a Democrat to represent Little Havana in Washington. 

The 77-year-old Shalala bested state Rep. David Richardson, her closest competition for the Democratic nomination, who argued that Shalala wasn’t liberal enough for a Democratic electorate angry with Donald Trump’s presidency. Shalala’s long career included stints as the president of the University of Miami and the Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Also running in the Democratic primary were former Knight Foundation director Matt Haggman, Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and former University of Miami academic adviser Michael Hepburn.

The Democratic primary turned into a proxy for the ongoing national debate between the party’s liberal and centrist wings on issues like instituting Medicare for all, abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and impeaching Trump. Shalala never shied away from those policy stances during the primary, though she did not unequivocally support universal, government-provided healthcare, doing away with the nation’s internal immigration enforcement force tasked with carrying out deportations and starting impeachment proceedings on Trump on day one if elected.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald