13 Donna Shalala to Run for U.S. House, Replacing Ros-Lehtinen



Donna Shalala jumped into the political arena Monday, filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Shalala, 77, a Democrat who was secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton, also served as the president of the University of Miami and as president of the Clinton Foundation.

She’s the second former Clinton official to declare candidacy in recent days. On Monday Mike Espy announced his run for the Senate, to replace retiring Republican Sen. Thad Cochran.

Espy served as a Democrat in the U.S. House representing Mississippi’s 2nd District from 1987 to 1993 — the first African-American to hold a Mississippi congressional seat since Reconstruction, then served as secretary of agriculture under Clinton, the first African-American to hold that post.

Shalala joins a crowded Democratic field, including former judge Mary Barzee Floes and Miami Beach commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez, state Rep. David Richardson, former Miami Herald reporter and Knight Foundation director Matt Haggman and Miami Commissioner Ken Russell.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro and songwriter Angie Chirino are seek the Republican nomination.

 Florida’s 27th District, which went for Hillary Clinton by nearly 20 points over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, includes coastal Miami-Dade County, most of Miami Beach and downtown Miami.

According to the Miami Herald, Shalala’s 14 years as University of Miami president were a resounding success, but also included a labor dispute over janitors seeking to unionize. A university chaplain called Shalala an “enemy of the working poor” during the nationally watched hunger strike, the Herald reported.