WIth Luther Campbell a no-show, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick coasts to re-election unopposed

campbell SCM
'Uncle Luke' never filed with the state, and 2 Republican candidates failed to qualify in CD 20.

After weeks of hype, 2 Live Crew frontman Luther Campbell did not qualify as a Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick for her seat in Congress. As a result, the Democratic Congresswoman has won re-election unopposed.

Campbell floated a run earlier this month, then filed papers midweek with the Federal Election Commission to run in Florida’s 20th Congressional District. But the Pembroke Pines Democrat never took steps at the state level with the Florida Division of Elections to make the ballot this year.

Sources close to Campbell during the week said he still had concerns about the level of financial disclosure required for congressional candidates to run even if they don’t win. He suggested as much in a video statement released on social media after the qualifying deadline.

“The economics of it all is more damning, because you got to work on $141,000 with only $31,000 in income, and you have to do and take and put all your money into a trust for somebody to run your businesses, control your bank accounts,” he said.

All members of Congress earn $174,000.

Campbell also said losing time with his 14-year-son and leaving obligations with local schools and youth programs loomed large in his decision. He still criticized Cherfilus-McCormick’s leadership, and said the community needs him to fight efforts by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz and former President Donald Trump to “take us and put us back into slavery days.”

“Hopefully you respect my decision,” he said. “I’m sure the media is gonna try to spin it in some negative way but that is what they do for clicks.”

Meanwhile, the news meant smooth sailing for Cherfilus-McCormick, who first won her U.S. House seat during a Special Election in January 2022. The Miramar Democrat succeeded the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, whom she had previously challenged for the seat.

During the Special Election, she narrowly came out on top of a crowded Democratic field, beating former Broward County Mayor Dale Holness by just five votes. But later the same year, McCormick beat Holness more decisively in an August Primary before winning her first full term in Congress over Republican Drew-Montez Clark.

This year, two Republicans filed against her hours before the qualifying deadline. But neither Steve “Doc” Chess nor Hector Rivera was able to qualify with the state in such short order.

That means that Cherfilus-McCormick was the only member of the Florida congressional delegation this election cycle to win unopposed.

Cherfilus-McCormick, the only Haitian American serving in the U.S. House, has faced a busy year even without the speculation around her political fortunes. She has spearheaded demands for more humane treatment of Haitian refugees by both the state and federal government as individuals flee the island nation amid gang violence.

Through the first quarter this year, McCormick had raised more than $390,000 for her re-election and had closed the quarter with just over $25,000 in cash on hand, a humble amount compared to most incumbents.

She raised more than $62,000 in the first three months of 2024, but also spent more than $171,000 campaigning over the same period of time.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • It's Complicated

    April 26, 2024 at 2:47 pm

    Republicans should never waste time and money running for this seat, because it is literally the most Democrat-performing Congressional District in the State of Florida. Any Republican that runs for it is going to lose BIG. Biden beat Trump 75.73% to 23.47% (52.26 points) in FL-20 in 2020.

  • Rick Whitaker

    April 26, 2024 at 7:17 pm

    IC, why are you so negative? first you post that dems should not run in certain seats, and now you’re saying gop should not run in certain seats. why do you know so much, and the party candidates and their managers know so little? i’ts simple, your opinion, is your opinion. your ” matter of fact ” way of stating things makes me think, you think, you are a stable genius.

Comments are closed.


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