Cherfilus-McCormick launches congressional re-election campaign — with support from former opponent – Sun Sentinel

Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, who faces a major rematch with the candidate she defeated final 12 months by 5 votes, kicked off her re-election marketing campaign with a name for — and a present of — Democratic unity.

She launched her marketing campaign with a notable new supporter: Barbara Sharief, who completed third within the fiercely fought 2021 particular Democratic major that despatched Cherfilus-McCormick to Congress.

Additionally supporting the brand new congresswoman’s re-election: Maisha Williams, the late Congressman Alcee Hastings’ stepdaughter — who Cherfilus-McCormick ran in opposition to twice, in 2018 and 2020.

Cherfilus-McCormick has been in workplace about 110 days. One of many central themes in remarks to supporters was that Democrats ought to be unified, and never dedicate time and vitality to a divisive celebration major.

“We will’t afford to have Democrats preventing Democrats,” Cherfilus-McCormick mentioned. A lot is at stake, vitality must be centered on “persevering with the work that we began, persevering with the struggle in opposition to Republicans.”

Cherfilus-McCormick mentioned she will achieve this, constructively. “It’s so essential that we elect a frontrunner who can proceed the struggle, who can struggle the struggle diplomatically, who perceive the wants of the group,” she mentioned.

Hastings died on April 6, 2021, however Gov. Ron DeSantis delayed calling particular major and basic elections for months — preserving the Democratic seat vacant for greater than 9 months, far longer than governors have waited in latest a long time.

“District 20 was silenced for 9 months. Each second I’ve to discuss what must be achieved, to affect what must be achieved, I take these alternatives,” she mentioned.

She cited inflation, together with fuel costs and the excessive value of housing in South Florida — and mentioned one answer is additional upping the annual value of dwelling will increase that go to Social Safety recipients to allow them to meet their wants in retirement.

She additionally mentioned there’s a have to counter what she sees coming daily from Republicans.

“Each morning we get up” and it appears as if a distinct Republican is focusing on the LGBTQ group — “making an attempt to equate homosexual folks to be some sort of weirdos, which isn’t true. We’re all good folks.”

Different Republicans, she mentioned, exhibit xenophobia, “equating immigrants to drug sellers and robbers” coming to the US to commit sexual assaults.

In politics, opponents in a single election typically develop into allies within the subsequent. And that’s what’s occurred with Cherfilus-McCormick and Sharief.

Sharief mentioned she “completely” helps Cherfilus-McCormick within the congressional major. “I would like her to have the ability to struggle and preserve her seat.”

And Cherfilus-McCormick is supporting Sharief’s marketing campaign for the Florida Senate. Sharief, a former Broward County commissioner and former Miramar metropolis commissioner, is working in opposition to state Sen. Lauren Ebook in a Democratic major in District 35, in southern and western Broward. Sharief’s major contest with Ebook isn’t the sort of inner celebration unity Cherfilus McCormick known as for in her speech.

Ebook is the Senate Democratic chief, and the competition with Sharief might be probably the most contentious and consequential legislative major in Florida this 12 months.

The alliance between Cherfilus-McCormick and Sharief hasn’t been formally introduced, however the mutual help was acknowledged by each candidates in interviews after Sharief slipped into Cherfilus-McCormick’s re-election marketing campaign kickoff Monday evening in Tamarac.

“We had a troublesome relationship” throughout final 12 months’s major,” mentioned Cherfilus-McCormick, who known as Sharief to ask her to Monday evening’s occasion.

However she additionally pointed to their similarities.

Cherfilus-McCormick, a lawyer, was CEO of Trinity Well being Care Companies, a house well being care firm earlier than she was elected to Congress. Sharief, a nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing follow, is proprietor and CEO of South Florida Pediatric Homecare.

Each dwell in Miramar — and each deliberate to run for Congress earlier than the April 6, 2021, loss of life of Hastings.

Cherfilus-McCormick mentioned she and different residents of South Florida “want somebody within the state [Legislature] who’s a tough employee.”

Cherfilus-McCormick is going through a rematch with Dale Holness, who misplaced by 5 votes out of 49,082 forged within the particular Democratic major to select a alternative for Hastings. Cherfilus-McCormick and Holness every had 23.8% of the vote, Sharief had 17.7%, and eight different candidates cut up the remainder.

Within the overwhelmingly Democratic district, the first winner was the assured winner of the particular basic election, on Jan. 11, by which she acquired 79% of the vote.

Cherfilus-McCormick and Holness are working in a reconfigured twentieth Congressional District in Broward and Palm Seaside counties. It nonetheless takes in many of the African American and Caribbean American communities within the two counties, however the boundaries of all congressional districts are altering this 12 months to replicate inhabitants shifts uncovered within the 2020 Census.

Cherfilus-McCormick is the primary Haitian Democrat elected to Congress. Holness, a former Broward County commissioner and Lauderhill metropolis commissioner, is Jamaican American.

The 2021 particular major was about six months in the past, the particular basic election was 4 months in the past, and the 2022 major is about three months from now.

Although she’s now the incumbent, Cherfilus-McCormick advised her supporters that they face arduous work main as much as the Aug. 23 major. “

“It’s going to be a tough struggle. It’s. I’m not going to misinform anyone. We’re coping with a district that has modified. Now we have three months to win these folks over.” Recalling assessments from folks early in 2021 who mentioned “we had no probability,” Cherfilus-McCormick mentioned “we’re going to indicate everyone what we’ve obtained.”

The winner of the Democratic major is all-but-guaranteed to win the November election. An evaluation from political knowledge analyst Matthew Isbell of the agency MCI Maps discovered that 76% of the brand new district’s voters went for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden within the 2020 election.

About 90 folks attended the marketing campaign kickoff on the Colony West County Membership in Tamarac. It was typical in that the candidate’s supporters milled about snacking on finger meals and Cherfilus-McCormick moved by way of the group speaking together with her supporters and posing for footage.

It was uncommon in a single respect: there wasn’t an extended checklist of warm-up audio system touting the candidate, only a transient introduction from former Broward Democratic Chairman Mitch Ceasar.

The viewers was various, and included some folks working for political workplace, and other people energetic in organized labor and the LGBTQ group.

“That is testomony that it doesn’t matter for those who’re a girl, for those who’re a person, for those who’re homosexual, for those who’re white, for those who’re Black, for those who’re Jewish. None of that issues. Take a look at our faces. We come from each facet, each place on the earth, and we’re nonetheless right here as one folks, one physique, preventing one struggle … We’re one folks. We’re fathers, moms, daughters, wives, husbands. We’re all the identical.”

Williams — Hastings’ stepdaughter who additionally labored in his workplace — mentioned many individuals are startled after they study she is working in Cherfilus-McCormick’s workplace. She mentioned she was offended the primary time Cherfilus-McCormick ran in opposition to her dad. The second time, she started to reassess.

“I really like Dale Holness. He’s a pal of the household. [But] I don’t suppose we want a alternative,” she mentioned.

She mentioned she’s come to see Cherfilus-McCormick because the political inheritor to Hastings, carrying on his a long time of advocacy. “Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick is an Alcee Hastings. She’s simply feminine and youthful.”

Anthony Man may be reached at or on Twitter @browardpolitics

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