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Donna Shalala greets the crowd at the Student Activities Ceter opening in August. Monica Herndon // Photo Editor

South Florida

Email insights: Donna Shalala ‘elitist, disconnected, and delusional’

Former University of Miami President Donna Shalala made her CD 27 run official Tuesday and the GOP seems about as excited as her Democratic opponents according to an email sent out by the Republican National Committee.

“Donna Shalala represents everything Floridians dislike about the Clinton’s – elitist, disconnected, and delusional about the working class and their needs,” RNC spokesperson Taryn Fenske said in an email. “She proved this by leading the Clinton foundation and covering up scandalous international fundraising activities as well as the Clinton family’s lifetime record of corruption.”

The RNC statement echoes the sentiments of some of Shalala’s Democratic Primary rivals, though their concerns have more to do with the former Health and Human Services secretary’s corporate ties than her Clinton connections.

Mary Barzee Flores said last month that Shalala is “compromised” by her ties to health insurers and homebuilders, as well as her treatment of low-wage employees at UM.

But the RNC’s statement kept beating the Hillary Clinton drum – even rolling out President Donald Trump’s nickname for his former adversary.

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“Floridians clearly didn’t want Crooked Hillary or her cronies representing us in D.C., and Donna should know the Clinton’s influence, and reign, is officially over,” Fenske said.

Shalala faces Barzee Flores, Matt Haggman, Michael Hepburn, state Rep. David Richardson, state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, and Miami Beach City Commissioners Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and Ken Russell in the CD27 Democratic Primary.

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

The seat is opening up in 2018 due to the retirement of longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. CD 27 is one of a handful of districts nationwide to simultaneously vote for Clinton and a Republican member of congress in 2016.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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