11 Democrats Compete in Florida Primary to Succeed Alcee Hastings

11 Democrats Compete in Florida Primary to Succeed Alcee Hastings 11 Democrats Compete in Florida Primary to Succeed Alcee Hastings Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., speaks during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By Peter Malbin | Tuesday, 02 November 2021 11:32 AM

Eleven Democrats are competing in the off-year primary election Tuesday to replace the late Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, who died in April. He represented the majority-Black area encompassing parts of Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Congress for 28 years and was known as the Dean of the Florida delegation, CNN reported.

The candidates to replace him are prominent political and business leaders in Palm Beach and Broward counties, according to the Palm Beach Post.

They are health care executive Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Broward County Commissioners Dale Holness and Barbara Sharief, state Sen. Perry Thurston, state Rep. Omari Hardy, state Rep. Bobby DuBose, civil rights activist Elvin Dowling, former Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor, retired non-commissioned Navy officer Phil Jackson, labor consultant Emmanuel Morel, and Imran Siddiqui.

Holness has raised more than $580,000 from outside supporters, the most of any candidate, according to the latest FEC filings, CNN reported. Thurston, DuBose, Hardy, Cherfilus-McCormick, and Sharief have also raised at least $100,000 from contributors.

Holness says that he received Hastings' verbal endorsement before he died, and Hastings' son is supporting the county commissioner, CNN said. But other candidates have disputed Holness' claim.

Hardy is a young progressive candidate who was endorsed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He opposes aid to Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system. Hardy was also highly critical of Gov. Ron DeSantis during a "60 Minutes" report about Florida's vaccine rollout that aired in April.

Thurston, meanwhile, has the endorsement of the Florida AFL-CIO and other prominent labor groups.

Cherfilus-McCormick has a one-minute TV commercial where she talks about her "People's Prosperity Plan," which would provide $1,000 a month to anyone older than 18 who make less than $75,000 per year, the Palm Beach Post reported. The district has high levels of unemployment and poverty.

The general election will take place on Jan. 11, 2022. The Democratic Primary will almost certainly decide who wins the seat that Hastings occupied since 1993 as the district overwhelmingly favors Democrats, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

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