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South Florida

Joe Biden bump? Former VP endorses Donna Shalala

Former Vice President Joe Biden is stepping in to support another South Florida Democrat, announcing his endorsement of Donna Shalala‘s congressional bid.

Shalala is competing against Republican candidate Maria Elvira Salazar and non-party affiliated candidate Mayra Joli in Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

This is the second recent South Florida candidate Biden has backed, after he announced his endorsement of Lauren Baer in Florida’s 18th Congressional District late last month.

Biden has also backed Bill Nelson‘s re-election bid to the U.S. Senate and has supported statewide Democrats as well, endorsing Nikki Fried for Agriculture Commissioner, Sean Shaw for Attorney General, and Andrew Gillum for Governor.

“Few candidates running for Congress have as much experience as Donna Shalala,” Biden said.

“I have worked alongside Donna on many consequential fights over the years. Donna’s a fearless progressive leader who has served our country and the South Florida community with integrity, vigor and passion.

She’s “uniquely qualified to take on the biggest issues facing our communities like health care, gun control and climate change – and she will continue to consistently stand on the side of working families.”

While this is Shalala’s first run for political office, she has been a political player for years, as noted by Biden. Shalala served as Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Bill Clinton administration and has been a longtime ally of the Clintons.

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of Vice President Biden,” Shalala said. “Vice President Biden and I have dedicated our lives to fighting for working families.”

Shalala would welcome any possible bump in what appears to be a close contest between she and Salazar.

The most recent poll of the contest from the New York Times showed Shalala up by 7 points. And while some handicappers give Shalala good odds in the race, others see a smaller lead for the Democrat.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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