House Latest: Democrat Shalala loses Florida seat to Salazar

Politics
Jim Clyburn

U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn introduces Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jaime Harrison of South Carolina at a campaign rally on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Hollywood, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 House races (all times local):

11:20 p.m.

Republican Maria Elvira Salazar has defeated Democrat Donna Shalala for a House seat in Florida.

Salazar, a Spanish-language television newscaster, won in her second try for the office after Shalala prevailed in 2018.

The district covers much of the central Miami area and has generally been considered Democratic. Salazar sharply criticized Shalala for failing to timely report several stock sales as required.

Shalala previously served as President Bill Clinton’s secretary of Health and Human Services. Shalala also is a former president of the University of Miami and chancellor at the University of Wisconsin.

Salazar, a Cuban-American, attacked Shalala for comments in which the incumbent called herself a “pragmatic socialist.” Shalala later said she meant to say she was a pragmatic capitalist.

“We know that socialism, it means ‘burning hell,’” Salazar said.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2020 HOUSE RACES:

Democrats are pushing to seal control of the House for two more years as they bank on their health care focus, dominant fundraising and broad suburban indignation with President Donald Trump to make their majority in the chamber even larger.

Read more:

— Trump, Biden cede stage to voters for Election Day verdict

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

10:45 p.m.

Democrat Deborah Ross has won an open House seat in North Carolina. She’s the second Democrat to win an open House seat after a court order required North Carolina to redraw its congressional map ahead of the 2020 election.

Ross was helped by new boundaries in the Raleigh-area district.

The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. George Holding, who announced his retirement last year.

Ross, a lawyer, is a former member of the North Carolina House, where she served as majority whip and in other leadership roles.

Ross most recently ran for elected office in 2016, when she failed to unseat Republican Sen. Richard Burr.

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10:25 p.m.

Republican Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has won a House seat in Florida, defeating freshman Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

Gimenez, a former firefighter, prevailed in a district that stretches from the Miami suburbs to Key West. The seat has swung back and forth between Democrats and Republicans for several elections.

The Cuban-born Gimenez was helped by President Donald Trump’s strong appeal to Cuban voters. Gimenez made restoring the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic one of his top campaign issues.

Florida has long been a COVID-19 hotspot, with more than 16,000 deaths in the state, including more than 3,500 in Miami-Dade County.

Mucarsel-Powell, who is originally from Ecuador, also stressed recovery from the pandemic as a major priority.

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10:12 p.m.

Democrat Kathy Manning has won an open House seat in North Carolina over Republican Joseph Lee Haywood.

Manning’s victory in the state’s 6th Congressional District was expected after a court ordered the state to redraw its congressional map ahead of the 2020 election. Republican Rep. Mark Walker did not seek reelection after the order.

The pickup by Manning in the area that borders Virginia furthers Democrats’ goal of retaining their majority in the House. Manning, an attorney and small business owner from Greensboro, unsuccessfully ran in 2018 for the seat in District 13, where she lost to Republican Ted Budd by 6 percentage points.

Haywood is a GOP activist who previously worked as the party chairman in the district.

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9:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s former White House physician is heading to Congress.

Republican Ronny Jackson has won a House seat in West Texas, where he moved after leaving the White House in 2018. The solidly Republican district is currently held by Mac Thornberry, one of six GOP congressmen in Texas retiring this year.

Jackson was a surprise pick by Trump to lead the Department of Veteran Affairs in 2018. But his nomination was derailed by allegations of drinking on the job and over-prescribing drugs, claims that he has strongly denied.

Jackson returned to the White House medical office, retired from the Navy in 2019 and launched his bid for Congress, winning Trump’s endorsement. Jackson defeated Democrat Gus Trujillo.

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9:30 p.m.

Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who expressed racist views and support for QAnon conspiracy theories, has won a House seat in Georgia.

President Donald Trump boosted Greene’s candidacy, calling her a “future Republican Star.”

Greene was heavily favored in the conservative district even before Democratic challenger Kevin Van Ausdal suddenly dropped out in September, saying he was moving out of state.

Greene is a businesswoman and political newcomer who’s gained large followings on social media in part by posting incendiary videos and comments. She has claimed in online videos that Black and Hispanic men are being held back by “gangs and dealing drugs,” alleged an “Islamic invasion” of government offices and accused Jewish billionaire George Soros of collaborating with Nazis.

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8 p.m.

Democrats are hoping to cement control of the House for two more years with perhaps an even larger majority.

They are banking on anxiety over the pandemic, suburban indignation with President Donald Trump and a fundraising advantage.

Over a dozen incumbents of both parties from safe districts have been easily reelected as polls are beginning to close in some eastern and Midwestern states. But early results aren’t conclusive yet in hotly contested districts in Virginia, Georgia, Ohio and North Carolina.

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6:15 p.m.

Democrats are aiming to seal control of the House for two more years this Election Day.

They’re banking on voters’ dismay over the pandemic, broad suburban indignation with President Donald Trump, and dominant fundraising to make their majority even larger.

Republicans are hoping to oust at least some of the 29 Democrats in districts Trump won in 2016, most of them freshmen. But nearly all Democratic incumbents in potentially vulnerable districts have been outspending their GOP challengers, often by vast margins.

Both parties’ operatives agree that the GOP is mostly playing defense and will be fortunate to limit Democratic gains to single digits.12:45 p.m.

The third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House is predicting Democrats will pick up as many as a dozen House seats.

Majority Whip Jim Clyburn told reporters outside a polling place in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday that he believed it would be a “good night for Democrats” up and down the ticket.

Clyburn says, “Holding the House would just be status quo. Winning the Senate would make it good.”

Democrats control the House 232-197, with five open seats and one independent. It takes 218 seats to control the chamber. Republicans control the Senate.

Clyburn has expressed concerns about voter suppression. He says President Donald Trump has been “literally stoking flames of indecision, unrest, threatening violence.”

Clyburn says the nation’s division “didn’t start with Trump, and it won’t stop with Trump.”

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12:20 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s “absolutely certain” that Democrats will “solidly hold” onto their House majority.

On an Election Day conference call with reporters, the California Democrat said “this election is about nothing less than taking back the soul of America, whether our nation will follow the voices of fear or whether we will choose hope.”

Pelosi and Rep. Cheri Bustos say the party is reaching deep into Trump country to win seats. Bustos is chair of the campaign arm for House Democrats, who are well positioned to try to add longtime GOP seats in Long Island, Arkansas, Indiana and rural Virginia.

Bustos says Democrats “are going to see some wins in those deep red districts.”

Pelosi says she’s confident Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will win the White House from President Donald Trump.

Biden has spent the day visiting Pennsylvania. Trump had a phone interview on Fox News Channel.

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Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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