Donna Shalala (D-FL-27)

Donna Shalala is one of the most accomplished congressional candidates in history. Florida’s 27th district voted for Hillary Clinton by a 20-point majority but has been represented by a popular Republican, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, since 1989. Ros-Lehtinen is not running for re-election.

Background and Achievements

Shalala received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, after serving in the Carter, Clinton, and Bush administrations. Shalala began her career in government after President Carter appointed her to be Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before serving as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton and the co-chair of the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors. In the early 1980s, Shalala was the chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Shalala held a nearly 15-year term as President of the University of Miami. Under her Presidency, she raised billions of dollars for scholarships in order to ensure the right to higher education for all students. Shalala has spent her life fighting for Americans and will continue to do so in Congress.

Positions on Key Issues

  • Strongly supports women’s rights, including equal pay, ending gender discrimination, and reproductive rights
  • Gun control, including universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons
  • Traffic reform in Miami through expansion of public transportation
  • • Healthcare protections, including defense of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and CHIP, which she created together with then-Senator Hillary Clinton

Prospects & Opponents

The incumbent, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is not running for re-election this fall. The Cook Political Report, Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections all rate the district as Lean Democratic. Shalala leads all polls in her crowded primary.


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