Congresswoman Frederica Wilson faces new challenger

MIAMI (WSVN) - Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is facing a tough challenge from an opponent who’s no stranger to the NFL spotlight, causing a congressional clash for voters at the ballot box.

Back in 1991, Randal Hill knew how to put on a show, but now, after seven years in the NFL — including a stint with the Miami Dolphins — and 15 years in law enforcement, “Thrill” Hill is taking on the challenge to unseat the incumbent congresswoman. “It’s time for positive change,” Hill said.

Wilson has represented Congressional District 24, which stretches from Central Pembroke Pines, down through Southeast Broward into Northeastern Miami-Dade since 2013.

A teacher and principal by trade, the often-flamboyant lawmaker, who is rarely seen without one of her signature hats, served in the Florida Legislature for 15 years. She said that experience has been invaluable. “Whatever I put my mind to passing, I get it done,” Wilson said.

Hill said that as a former deputy sheriff and homeland security officer, violence on the streets is something he can work to alleviate. “No one else can talk about this the way I can,” he said.

He pointed to Wilson’s comments at a news conference that was held in the aftermath of the shooting of an unarmed therapist in North Miami. “I’m in shock. I’m stunned,” Wilson said at the conference. “The video is like a nightmare.”

Hill said Wilson should have discussed more than just emotions. “It was all a lot of nonsense. She didn’t talk specifics. She didn’t talk about use of force,” he said. “When you talk about these shootings and securing these neighborhoods, that’s right up my alley.”

But Wilson points to programs to bring jobs and health care facilities to the district, as well as efforts to draw attention to the girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boku Haram.

While both candidates agree that the diversity of the 24th District requires a special kind of teamwork, they definitely have their differences.

“The current congressman, congresswoman, isn’t doing anything to bring them together,” Hill said. “The Eastern seaboard, Jewish, Latins in the west, and the Haitians who have been completely left out.”

Wilson disagrees and believes people from all walks of life are involved. “We have every race you can think of, right there,” Wilson said. “I’m accustomed to working with all races, creeds, colors.”

7News will continue to look at the top ballot battles throughout this week.

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