Cherfilus-McCormick apparent winner in Florida Democratic primary for Hastings’ seat

A woman campaigns for Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick in Miramar, Florida outside a polling station on Election Day, November 2, 2021. | Rebecca Blackwell / AP Photo

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick was named the tentative Democratic primary winner to fill the seat of former MP Alcee Hastings, but it was paper thin.

The area code was decided with less than 10 votes. Both Cherfilus-McCormick and District Commissioner Dale Holness received nearly 24 percent of the primary votes on Nov. 2, but were only separated by a handful of votes, requiring a recount.

The winner of the Democratic primary is almost guaranteed to win the safe seat of the Democrats. The special election will take place on January 11th.

Broward County’s Public Prosecution Board considered about 20 ballots on Friday and at the end of the recount determined that Cherfilus-McCormick is the likely primary winner. The state still has to certify the results.

“I’m proud to finally be a Democratic candidate for the 20th tonight, but the tweet seems to have been deleted. “It’s a tremendous honor to wear this.”

Cherfilus-McCormick challenged Hastings unsuccessfully two years ago. This year Cherfilus-McCormick, who owns a healthcare company, poured about $ 4 million of her own money into her campaign.

How we got here: The 84-year-old Hastings died in April after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was in office for almost 30 years.

Eleven candidates ran in the Democratic primary election for Florida’s 20th Congressional District, including current and former local officials and three MPs. However, voter turnout in the special elections outside of the year was low.

The district connects several black towns and neighborhoods in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, as well as nearby farming communities.

Florida law required an automatic recount if the margin is one-half percent or less.

What’s next: The state will confirm the final results on November 16. Cherfilus-McCormick will run against Republican Jason Mariner, who won the GOP primary, and three other independent and minor party candidates in January’s special election.

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