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How Did Bill Clinton’s Health Secretary Lose An Election In A Pandemic?

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
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Democratic Florida Rep. Donna Shalala’s Nov. 3 loss raises questions — how exactly did former President Bill Clinton’s health secretary lose a reelection bid during a global health crisis? A breakdown of voter data indicates it could be the result of economic turmoil, along with enthusiasm and increased Hispanic and Latino turnout for President Donald Trump.

Shalala squared off in 2020 for the second consecutive time against former Telemundo TV journalist Maria Elvira Salazar for a seat in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, which includes parts of Miami-Dade County. Shalala lost to Salazar by nearly three points on Nov. 3, while Trump gained 22 percentage points on his 2016 performance in the county. Only two years prior, the former health secretary defeated Salazar by roughly six points.