Candidate in Florida Special Election Puts Millions in Campaign


Numerous candidates are vying for a Congressional seat in South Florida left vacant by the late Congressman Alcee Hastings, but only one is putting millions of her own dollars into her campaign.

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, CEO of Trinity Health Care Services in Miramar, has contributed $2.3 million of her own finances into her campaign, which is $1 million more than seven other Democratic candidates have raised combined. Cherfilus-McCormick is prepared to contribute more if need be.

“I’m not trying to buy a seat at all,” Cherfilus-McCormick said. “I have never played the political game of trying to buy people or anything. It’s always been a ground game and a people-centered campaign. But … I knew that other campaigns were going to take money from different donors and lobbyists.”

The special election primary takes place on Nov. 11, where five notable Democrats are vying for the seat. The winner of the primary will likely win the general election, as the district leans blue.

State Rep. Bobby DuBose (D-94) announced his intentions to run back in April and said his track record in the state legislature shows he can work in Washington D.C.

“I’ve shown that I can work on issues in tough climates,” DuBose said. “I’m able to pass legislation.”

Despite the big numbers from Cherfilus-McCormick, DuBose has shown he can campaign even during the hot summer months.

“It was kind of humbling, to be honest. I just reached out to friends, family, fraternity brothers, church members, and folks really came through,” DuBose said, continuing by saying “it’s always one thing when folks are encouraging you, and saying they’re with you, and another thing when they’re really investing in the campaign.”

Two other state legislators are running for the congressional seat: Sen. Perry Thurston (D-33) and progressive Rep. Omari Hardy (D-88).

So far, Hardy has raised over $94,000 and Thurston has raised $184,074, vastly trailing Cherfilus-McCormick’s personal dollars.

According to her campaign website, Cherfilus-McCormick says she is a supporter of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, would implement “The People’s Prosperity Plan,” and implement socialized medicine.

As a part of her Prosperity Plan, she says there is “no social justice without economic justice” and would work to provide taxpayers with monthly $1,000 entitlement checks.

“There’s been some other people who are naysayers, some other candidates who are saying I’m selling pipe dreams. But it just goes to show you why our district is in poverty,” she said. “I’m the only one who has the audacity to dream different, and do something different. But that’s how I’ve been successful in my personal life. So I’m not afraid to put forth a bold policy.”

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 

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