Three Democratic candidates are vying for a seat in Florida’s 20 congressional district

The fight for the 20th congressional district primary on August 23 includes three Democrats with extensive political backgrounds and an unopposed Republican nominee, and all are targeting a famous blue seat once held by a longtime congressman of three decades.

The 20th Congressional District is made up of the western parts of Palm Beach County and Broward County, such as Belle Glade and Plantation. The district was redrawn to take some votes out of Pembroke Pines and exchange them for some more votes in Plantation.

U.S. Representative Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick is running for a full term in that district after winning a special election in January to fill the vacancy created when longtime Congressman Alcee Hastings died in April 2021 of breast cancer. pancreas. She previously challenged Hastings to no avail in 2018 and 2020.

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Now the seat is once again up for grabs, and two candidates with stacked political backgrounds are challenging her for the Democratic nomination.

Former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness is targeting a rematch against Cherfilus-McCormick after losing the Democratic primary last year by just five votes.

State Rep. Anika Omphroy, a Democrat representing central Broward, is the third Democratic nominee in the race.

Drew Montez Clark is running unopposed for the Republican seat, but he comes up against a particularly blue neighborhood. In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden held around 75% of the district’s support while Donald Trump had around 23% of his support.

The Palm Beach Post conducted a criminal background check on each candidate. The Post reports all criminal charges filed and the outcome of cases since January 2012, even when they did not result in a conviction.

Campaign finance data for candidates who ran in this year’s special elections is merged under the Federal Election Commission.

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D) (Full Member)

Age and residence: 43 Miramar.

Main campaign priorities: A top campaign priority for Cherfilus-McCormick is to tackle the housing crisis by providing funding for housing and mortgage assistance and increasing the supply of affordable housing. She also wants to focus on reducing inflation, fighting to end health care disparities by promoting universal health care, defending reproductive and voting rights, and creating economic opportunity for people. workers and small business owners in the district.

Employment history : Between 2010 and 2022, Cherfilus-McCormick served as chief executive of Trinity Health Care Services. She resigned once elected to Congress.

Political context: Prior to taking up her congressional duties, Cherfilus-McCormick served on the Broward County Public Schools Advisory Council and served as director of the board of directors of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce.

Education: Cherfilus-McCormick earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Howard University. She went to graduate school at the University of Maryland University College for her Masters in Business Administration. She went to law school at St. Thomas University Law School.

Criminal history: None.

Amendments: Cherfilus-McCormick is endorsed by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, State Senator Bobby Powell, Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James, Royal Palm Beach Mayor Fred Pinto , Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder, Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Chelsea Reed, Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson, former Westlake Vice Mayor Katina Long Robinson and Palm County School District Board Member Marcia Andrews Beach.

Finance: Cherfilus-McCormick had total revenue of $7.5 million as of July 18, with approximately $313,000 in contributions, $7.2 million in loans and more than $6,700 in other revenue. Most of the finance goes to Cherfilus-McCormick herself and ActBlue, which is a nonprofit tech organization to help Democratic candidates raise funds online.

Dale Holness, 2022 Democratic primary candidate for the 20th congressional race

Dale Holness (D)

Age and residence: 65, Plantation.

Main campaign priorities: The main priorities of the Holness campaign would be to defend economic development, entrepreneurship, job creation and living wages. It emphasizes selling more American products to the rest of the world and advocating for small businesses. Holness aims to promote affordable housing, immigration reform, environmental justice, health care, equity, Medicare for All, Medicaid, Social Security, youth empowerment, criminal justice reform and the right to vote.

Employment history : Holness is a Realtor with All Broward Realty and has 30 years of real estate experience.

Political context: Holness was the Broward County Commissioner for District 9 from 2010 until this year. He served as mayor of Broward County in 2020 and vice mayor in 2019. He served Lauderhill as city commissioner from 2004 to 2010 and as vice mayor in 2007 and 2010.

Education: Holness attended Broward College, Sheridan Technical College and Nova Southeastern University.

Criminal history: None.

Amendments: Holness is endorsed by Margate Mayor Antonio Arserio, Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo, Tamarac Vice Mayor Mike Gelin, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, Lauderhill Commissioner Sarai Martin and West Park Commissioner Joy Smith.

Finance: Holness’s campaign contribution receipts total $1.1 million as of July 26, part of which includes a $40,000 loan. Individual donor contributions do not exceed $6,000, but most major contributions come from real estate companies or local businesses.

Anika Omphroy, candidate for the 2022 Democratic primary for the 20th congressional race

Anika Omphroy (D)

Age and residence: 43 Lauderdale Lakes

Key Campaign Priorities: Omphroy’s top campaign priorities include a tiered housing plan to secure affordable housing and increase multifamily and bond housing, reduce student loan debt per borrower by at least $50,000, refinance loans at a simple rate of interest, protect Florida farmers and ensure an increase in housing stock and that their children receive a quality education and decriminalize cannabis.

Employment history : Currently, Omphroy is not employed other than working as a Florida House representative.

Political context: Omphroy was elected to the Florida House in 2018. She was appointed by the Governor to the Florida Re-Open Task Force Industry Task Force on Agriculture, Finance, Government, Health Care , management, and professional services in 2020, and she was also elected to the Executive Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators in 2021 and appointed to its International Affairs Committee in 2019. She was elected Chief of Area 9 of the Broward Democratic Party in 2017 to 2018, which was for the Lakes Lauderhill and Lauderdale area. In 2016, she was appointed to the City of Lauderdale Lakes Civil Services Board. She served as Vice Chair of the City of Lauderdale Lakes Economic Development Council in 2013 and served on the Broward County Human Rights Council from 2005 to 2009.

Education: Omphroy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Criminal history: None.

Amendments: Omphroy told the Palm Beach Post that she didn’t ask for any approval.

Finance: Campaign finance data for Omphroy only shows contributions from May through November 2021 totaling $10,000.

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