Democratic National Committee Chairwoman [crscore]Debbie Wasserman Schultz[/crscore] is facing a serious primary challenge from a surprisingly well-financed law school professor who is a strong supporter of the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Wasserman Schultz’s challenger, Tim Canova, teaches finance law at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, a nether-ranked law school in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. that completely fabricated its Above the Law ranking, according to Above the Law.
Canova, 55, says he decided to run against Wasserman Schultz in the Aug. 30 primary because her staff gave him the cold shoulder when he urged the six-term congresswoman to vote against fast-track trade legislation and because he views her as insufficiently progressive, according to ABC News.
“She’s a corporate Democrat,” Canova told The Associated Press last week, according to ABC. “She’s been taking millions of dollars from the largest corporations and voting in their interests and not in the interests of her own constituents.”
Canova, a self-styled “progressive Democrat” who has advised Sanders on Federal Reserve policy, believes presidential fast-track trade authority causes the destruction of domestic U.S. jobs. He wants strict regulation for high-interest “payday” loans. He supports medical marijuana. He has strongly criticized President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. He wants to liberalize trade with Cuba “in stages.”
Wasserman Schultz won’t deign to mention Canova in interviews with local reporters. Instead, she focuses on her record.
“I’m running today for re-election for the same reason that I ran then, and that is to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice,” she told CBS Miami. “I have pretty much grown up my whole adult life in front of my constituents and I think they know and trust that I have had their back.”
Canova managed to rake in around $557,000 in donations during the first quarter of the year, according to his campaign. The average donation was $20. (RELATED: Wasserman Schulz’s Primary Challenger Raised A TON Of Money In The First Quarter)
Wasserman Schultz, who has come under fire from the left wing of her party for allegedly rigging the election in Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s favor, raised $614,000 in the same period. Her average donation was $89.
Both candidates have raised most of their cash from donors outside the state of Florida.
In many ways, Canova’s upstart campaign resembles the campaign of once-little-known Randolph-Macon College economics professor [crscore]Dave Brat[/crscore], the conservative challenger who defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District GOP primary in 2014. (RELATED: Which Is The Better, Hotter Randolph-Macon Professor In Virginia House Race?)
Obama has endorsed Wasserman Schulz, calling her a “strong, progressive leader in Congress,” according to ABC News.
In addition to Nova Southeastern, Canova, a former aide to Democratic Sen. Paul Tsongas, has taught law at a many law schools: Chapman University School of Law in Southern California, the University of Miami School of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law in the suburbs of Miami, the University of New Mexico School of Law and the University of Arizona College of Law.
At Rate My Professors, students who like Canova call him “a kind and gentle man” who is “able to bring clarity to difficult subject matter.” Critics describe him as a professor in need of “anger management” who is “sort of demeaning to his students.”
On his Facebook page, Canova likes Black Lives Matter, Occupy South Florida and Alina Tribal Bellydance.
The district in which Canova and Wasserman Schultz are facing off voted for Clinton over Sanders, 64 percent to 33 percent.