The April 6, 2020 death of civil rights icon and Congressman Alcee Hastings left a hole in the heart of the Florida Congressional delegation that Governor DeSantis finally announced, on May 4, would be filled via a Special Election. The primary is scheduled for November 2, 2021, and the general election for January 11, 2022. Of course, nine months from Congressional opening to Special Election is entirely unnecessary. The Governator is playing games by keeping this reliably Democratic district without representation for the better part of a year. Color us unsurprised.
But this length of time affords a strong woman candidate, Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief, plenty of time to get her message out, and also to get a bunch of the small-dollar monthly donations that Democrats rely on in the door.
Here’s what we’re excited about in Commissioner Sharief as a candidate:
- She is a nurse by training and the founder of a successful home health care business (Cf. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood)
- She has been elected to the Broward County Commission 3 times and served as Mayor of Broward County twice (a job that rotates among the Broward CC members)
- Before that, she served on the Miramar City Commission
- She is a past president of the Florida Association of Counties, so her knowledge of the issues of Florida families is not confined to Broward
- Her policy agenda lines up perfectly with WUFF PAC’s policy agenda.
Check out her website to see all of her issues, and give her a follow on Twitter.
In a crowded field, she has already garnered several important endorsements, including those of her fellow commissioners.
Commissioner Sharief’s ex-husband, seeking his 15 minutes of fame, appeared at an event recently to endorse a competitor, which honestly only makes her seem more relatable and much more formidable. A woman who can manage a family, a successful business, and serious public service along with whatever that was all about is a woman worthy of support, also one we’d like to have in our corner. Her presence in the race is notable, and has caused others to shy away:
We’ve heard a lot of good things about PBC Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, and we hope she will find another race to jump into–there will be what our Board Member from Palm Beach County characterized as “plenty of musical chairs” going on in the area as a result of this crowded Special Election.
We had a delightful conversation with Commissioner Sharief yesterday. Among other things, she told us about the first debate among the many Democratic candidates, which occurred on the last day of the Florida State Legislative session. State Senator Perry Thurston, who until recently held a leadership position in the State Senate, skipped that day in Tallahassee to debate in Broward, a move for which he was roundly panned. He also got into a debate with Dale Holness, current Mayor of Broward County (the dude not endorsed by his peers) about which of them had been endorsed by Congressman Hastings. The correct answer? Neither. The Congressman, his family, and his team explicitly declined to endorse a successor before his death. Sharief had the great good sense to observe this exchange with rapt attention, not uttering a word. Great instincts and message discipline will be key to winning this race.
So please check out Barbara Sharief’s website, donate if you can, and follow ours if you want to know when we’ll be having a call to introduce more people to Commissioner Sharief. If you would prefer to support her through WUFF PAC–if you live in a divided household, work for a conservative organization or an NPO and would prefer not to have your name affiliated with particular candidates–we have created a campaign on the http://www.wuffpac.org website for her campaign which you can access here: https://womenunited4floridafamilies.kindful.com/. All donors will be reported to the FEC as donors to WUFF PAC rather than to a specific candidate. Your secret support of democracy and strong, smart women is safe with us.