Shalala elected to succeed Ros-Lehtinen in Fla.

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Democrat Donna Shalala on Nov. 6 defeated Republican María Elvira Salazar in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).

Shalala defeated Salazar by a 52-46 percent margin.

Shalala, the former Health and Human Services secretary during the Clinton administration who was president of the University of Miami from 2001-2015, in August defeated openly gay state Rep. David Richardson (D-Miami Beach) in the Democratic primary in Florida’s 27th congressional district.

Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Cuba and has an openly transgender son, is among Congress’ most vocal supporters of LGBT rights. Ros-Lehtinen announced her retirement in 2017.

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