Wasserman Schultz beats Canova for Democratic congressional nomination

Former DNC chair on election: 'It's a pretty incredible feeling'

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Victor Oquendo - Anchor/Reporter

SUNRISE, Fla. - Debbie Wasserman Schultz has defeated challenger Tim Canova in the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress.

The congresswoman faced a strong challenge from the first-time politician in Tuesday's Democratic primary for Florida's 23rd congressional district. 

Wasserman Schultz stepped down as chair of the Democratic National Committee in July after emails were leaked showing that DNC staffers favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the presidential race.

Despite her unceremonious departure from the DNC chair, Wasserman Schultz has remained steadfast in her support of Clinton, vowing to "speak loud and proud on our values" in an effort to blockade Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's path to the White House.

The 49-year-old Weston resident began her political career in the Florida House of Representatives in 1993. She later served in the Florida Senate before being elected to Congress in 2004.

Her opponent claimed that she was using DNC resources to monitor his campaign. He even filed an ethics complaint against her.

Canova, a political newcomer and law professor at Nova Southeastern University, claims that Wasserman Schultz had the highest absentee rate in Congress behind U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, in 2015.

Throughout his campaign, Canova accused Wasserman Schultz of dodging him after repeated calls to debate her. They finally did, just weeks before the election.

The Sanders-backed Canova became Wasserman Schultz's first Democratic challenger since she was elected to Congress.

"It's just incredibly gratifying. It's hard to find the words," Wasserman Schultz said. "When the people … who you've ask to put their trust and faith in you give you that kind of vote of confidence, it's a pretty incredible feeling."

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