Donna Shalala Could Be Coming to Congress

Former Clinton Cabinet secretary won Democratic nod in Florida’s 27th District

Former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala won the Democratic nod for Florida’s 27th District on Tuesday night. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Former Clinton Cabinet secretary Donna Shalala has won the Democratic nomination in Florida’s open 27th District, one of the party’s best pickup opportunities this cycle.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the former Health and Human Services secretary led with 32 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press. State Rep. David Richardson, who had tried to claim the mantle as the most progressive candidate in the race, finished second with 28 percent in the five-way primary.

Current Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is not running for re-election, opening up a seat that Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Leans Democratic.

Shalala will face former TV news anchor Maria Elvira Salazar, who easily won a nine-way GOP primary. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, she led with 41 percent of the vote, according to the AP. 

Shalala, who stepped down as president of the Clinton Foundation last year, had picked up national support for her bid, even after entering the primary late. EMILY’s List backed her in May. (The pro-abortion rights group had originally backed former circuit court judge Mary Barzee Flores, but she switched to the 25th District, where she won the nomination Tuesday night, after Shalala entered the race for the 27th.) Other Democratic candidates in the 27th District had criticized Shalala for her tenure at the University of Miami, for skipping debates and for previously donating to Republicans.

Watch: House Ratings Change in Favor of Democrats

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