Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala won the Democratic nomination to represent Florida’s 27th district in Congress on Tuesday.
Shalala won the district with over 30 percent of the vote, narrowly beating out state Rep. David Richardson.
At 77 years old, Shalala would be the oldest freshman congresswoman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Shalala previously served as Secretary of Health and Human Services under former President Bill Clinton, then served as the president of the University of Miami for four years, and later was the president of the Clinton Foundation for the two years after that. She currently serves as the Trustee Professor of Political Science and Health Policy at the University of Miami.
“Ready or not, here I come,” Shalala told a crowd of supporters on Tuesday night, according to the Miami Herald’s Alex Daugherty. “November 6 is the day, it’s judgement day in Miami.”
The race for the district is open after Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) announced her retirement earlier this year. Ros-Lehtinen had represented the district for 29 years, and was the first Cuban American and first Latinx woman elected to Congress.
In picking Shalala over Richardson, Florida Democratic voters rejected a progressive platform in favor of a safe establishment candidate with a rolodex of donors with deep pockets.
Shalala will likely face journalist Maria Elivira Salazar in the November general election.