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Mary Barzee Flores says Donna Shalala isn’t right for CD 27

Former University of Miami President Donna Shalala is reportedly mulling a run for Florida’s 27th Congressional District and that doesn’t sit well with Mary Barzee Flores, one of the many Democrats vying to flip the seat currently held by retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

“While I have a tremendous amount of respect for Donna Shalala, I am convinced that she has vastly different values than what the people of District 27 want in their member of Congress, especially in this moment,” Barzee Flores said in a blog post on Medium.

Barzee Flores said there’s a “strong cohort of Democrats already running,” and that Shalala would not only be a break from what CD 27’s looking for, but that she’s “compromised” when it comes to major issues facing the district’s voters.

“Donna Shalala was on the payroll of one of the biggest insurers in the country, UnitedHealthcare for over a decade — She sat on their board, and was compensated almost $700,000 while premiums for the rest of us went higher and higher,” Barzee Flores wrote.

“This is one of the most pressing issues affecting tens of thousands of Miami’s families — and it’s one where Shalala is compromised. And it’s far from the only issue where her credibility is questionable.

Barzee Flores said Shalala was also the wrong pick for those who remember the housing crisis due to her work with homebuilders; the wrong choice for hourly workers due to her treatment of UM janitorial staff; and the wrong choice for those looking for stalwart opposition to the environmental policies of President Donald Trump.

“Donna Shalala took one of Miami’s last wildlife corridors that gave habitat to native species as urban and suburban areas have expanded, and sold it to build a Walmart — A Walmart! — and a large parking lot, over the objections of the community and environmental experts.

“I’m not going to let someone who has used their positions of power and influence to enrich themselves, while fighting against affordable healthcare, against our lowest wage workers, and against environmental experts in favor of Walmart developers, to just come in and take this seat,” she wrote.

The former federal judge is running against Matt Haggman, state Rep. David Richardson, state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, and Miami Beach City Commissioners Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and Ken Russell in the CD 27 Democratic Primary.

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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