Dale Holness qualifies in CD 20, headed for rematch with incumbent
It's deja vu all over again.

holness mccormick ART
The former Broward Commissioner lost to Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick by five votes in last matchup.

Florida’s 20th Congressional District has its first candidate qualified to run in the 2022 election.

Former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness was denied the congressional seat once held by U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings by just five votes, when he lost to now-U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick in last November’s Special Democratic Primary Election. Now, the two appear to be headed for a rematch.

Holness, a longtime fixture in Broward County’s political scene, qualified by petition Monday, according to the state’s Division of Elections webpage.

Filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show the Democrat is likely headed for a Primary contest with Cherfilus-McCormick and state Rep. Anika Omphroy. Omphroy submitted FEC filings on June 3 to be a candidate in the district.

Republicans Vic DeGrammont and Drew-Montez Clark are also listed as active CD 20 candidates with the state and have up-to-date filings with the Federal Election Commission.

But the district is considered the bluest congressional seat in the state, spanning Broward and Palm Beach counties, taking in Black and Caribbean American neighborhoods around West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. As a result, the winner of the Democratic Primary in August is likely to win in the General Election in November.

Holness served on the Broward County Commission for 11 years until he resigned the position to run for the seat that came open when Hastings died in office in April 2021.

Cherfilus-McCormick and Holness ran in a crowded field against nine other Democrats to fill the seat in a Special Election that brought out just 11.3% of registered voters. That race ended in a recount that saw lawyers fighting for every last vote as 16 overseas ballots were opened. They had arrived after the Primary date but before a deadline for military votes.

A less crowded field of candidates in a regular Primary is likely to change the dynamic of the contest.

Filings so far this year show Cherfilus-McCormick, a health care executive, plans to again self-fund her campaign, whereas Holness is courting support from local elected officials.

Since that Primary, in March, the state Ethics Commission fined Holness $1,000 for failing to accurately disclose his income as required by state law while he was a Broward County Commissioner.

The original ethics complaint was filed by Richard Giorgio, a Palm Beach County resident who was the congressional campaign consultant for Barbara Sharief, Holness’ former colleague on the Broward County Commission.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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