Florida’s 26th and 27th Congressional Districts: Two Cuban American Strongholds Support Non-Cuban Democrats for Congress
If Democrats were to capture control of the House of Representatives in 2018, they needed to turn Florida’s Congressional Districts 26 and 27 from “red to blue.” Voters in these two districts voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump for president in 2016, while handily reelecting U.S. Representatives Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both Republicans, on the same ballot. In District 26, Curbelo, a two-term moderate Republican, was challenged by Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. District 27 became an open seat when Ros-Lehtinen decided to retire. After competitive primaries in both parties, Democrats nominated Donna Shalala, former University of Miami president and U.S. Cabinet Secretary, to face the Republican candidate, former Spanish-language journalist Maria Elvira Salazar, in a star-powered contest. Democrats picked up both seats on their way to a congressional majority.