RESULTS: 11 Democrats are vying to represent Florida's 20th Congressional District

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RESULTS: 11 Democrats are vying to represent Florida's 20th Congressional District
People wait in line to vote at the Bell Shoals Baptist Church on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Brandon, Fla. Chris O'Meara/AP
  • A crowded field of candidates is vying to replace the late Rep. Alcee Hastings in South Florida.
  • The seat in Florida's majority-Black, heavily-Democratic 20th District has been vacant since April.

What's at stake:

A crowded field of 11 candidates is running for the Democratic nomination to replace the late Rep. Alcee Hastings in Florida's 20th Congressional District. Hastings died of pancreatic cancer in April.

The majority-Black South Florida-based district includes parts of Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Democratic candidates running for the seat include state Sen. Perry Thurston, State House Minority Leader Bobby DuBose, State Rep. Omari Hardy, Broward County Commissioners Dale Holness and Barbara Sharief, the Rev. Elvin Dowling, and healthcare executive Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, who previously challenged Hastings for the seat in 2018 and 2020 and has lent her campaign over $2.3 million of her own money.

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No candidate is clearly favored to win the Democratic primary, which has received far less national attention, outside spending, and endorsements from political heavyweights in comparison to other special House elections that have taken place in 2021.

The candidates running for the 20th District have strongly emphasized immigration policy on the campaign trail - with some sharply criticizing the Biden administration over its treatment of migrants from Haiti, The Washington Post's Dave Weigel recently reported. The racially diverse district includes a sizeable community of Haitian immigrants.

Whichever Democratic candidate wins is strongly favored to beat GOP nominee Jason Mariner in the January 11, 2022 general election. President Joe Biden carried the heavily Democratic district by a margin of over 55 points in 2020, making the 20th District one of the most reliably blue in the state even as Republicans gain ground in other parts of South Florida.

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The election will, crucially, fill a vacancy for House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is currently overseeing a slim three-vote majority in the House.

Also on Tuesday, special House general elections in Ohio will fill two other vacancies in the safely-Democratic Cleveland-based 11th District, vacated by now-HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, and the safely-Republican 15th District in the Columbus suburbs, vacated by former Rep. Steve Strivers.

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