The Democratic primary for Florida’s 20th District sees a rematch between rivals: incumbent U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and former Broward County Mayor Dale Holness.
Cherfilus-McCormick beat Holness in 2021 by just five votes to claim the seat left vacant by the late Alcee Hastings.
“The reason I am running for reelection is because we just got started, our hard work, and it’s time for us to keep pushing through on an honest level and make sure that we get all the resources and the change that we need for the district,” said Cherfilus-McCormick.
Holness said he is looking to bring a fresh perspective to the seat.
“Eighteen years as a public servant here in Broward County, delivering on promises that I made,” he said. “I started in the Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce putting together education A-plus programs.”
District 20 covers a swath of Broward County, including parts of Miramar, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. It also stretches into Palm Beach County.
During a recent digital debate, both candidates were asked about the idea of using federal funding for more affordable housing.
“What we must do and do it right now is expanded Section 8 choice vouchers and target them towards new developments,” said Holness. “We are 18,000 units short in Florida, and that is one of the reasons why we see the prices going up and people having a difficult time.”
Cherfilus-McCormick pointed to a recent visit to South Florida by U.S. Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge.
“I’ve also requested $7.4 million to come in for housing needs into the state, but we were able to divert $676 million into the state of Florida, which we will be pulling down into our district for housing,” she said.
Cherfilus-McCormick added that a visit this month by Vice President Kamala Harris will help South Florida battle climate change.
“We are investing over $100 million into the South Florida market to make sure that, not only are we moving towards environmental resiliency, which is building more infrastructure for our waterways and building more infrastructure when it comes to emissions,” she said.
Holness, meanwhile, stressed the importance of working with local government.
“Because at the end of the day, it’s the local government that will implement and execute the things that need to be done,” he said.
Both candidates are on the same page when it comes to a woman’s choice in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe vs. Wade.
“Equality for everyone, self-dignity for everyone, when it comes to our bodies, our dignity, ending misogyny for everyone,” said Cherfilus-McCormick.
“A woman’s right to choose is human rights, and to deny that is wrong,” said Holness.
Also running in this primary race is current Florida State Rep. Anika Omphroy, who boasts bringing more than $30 million back to her district in South Florida.
Whoever wins this Democratic primary is largely expected to win the seat for District 20. Earlier this year, when Cherfilus-McCormick ran against a Republican, she won with nearly 80% of the vote.
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