Cherfilus-McCormick certified winner of FL-20 special Democratic primary

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick defeated second-place finisher Dale Holness by five votes in the special Democratic primary for Florida’s 20th Congressional District, according to newly certified election results. Eleven candidates ran in the primary.

The race went to a recount after the Nov. 2 election, which showed Cherfilus-McCormick leading by five votes. That lead held when the last eligible military and overseas ballots were counted on Nov. 12.

Cherfilus-McCormick is CEO of Trinity Health Care Services. She ran against former incumbent Alcee Hastings in the 2020 and 2018 Democratic primaries, receiving between 26% and 31% of the vote. Cherfilus-McCormick was this primary’s fundraising leader as of Oct. 13 with $3.8 million, including $3.7 million she loaned her campaign. Holness had raised $583,880.

Cherfilus-McCormick emphasized her People’s Prosperity Plan, which includes $1,000-per-month payments to people over 18 making less than $75,000 a year. Her platform also includes Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and a $20 minimum wage.

Holness, a Broward County Commissioner, was one of five current elected officials running in the primary. His campaign website said he would fight to make the district “a beacon of economic growth throughout America” and would work to ensure that growth “extends equitably across all races, genders, and ethnicities for greater prosperity for all.”

The special election on Jan. 11, 2022, will fill the vacancy left by Alcee Hastings (D), who died in April. Hastings had been in office since 1993. As of September, Inside Elections rated the special election Solid Democratic.