Shalala faces competitive election for Ros-Lehtinen's seat with new outlook on marijuana

This Week in South Florida features two Congressional District 27 candidates

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla.District 27 in Miami-Dade is at the center of one of the most competitive Congressional races in Florida during both the Aug. 28 primary elections and the Nov. 6 general election. This Week in South Florida's Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg devoted most of the Sunday show to the race. 

University of Miami president Donna Shalala, also the former Health and Human Services secretary under Clinton, paid for a poll that showed she has been dominating the crowded Democratic primary to replace retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-lehtinen, the longest-serving Republican woman in Congress. 

While Shalala talked about her new outlook on decriminalizing marijuana, one of her Democratic rivals Miami Beach commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez said she is "the Democratic version of Ileana" and her fluent Spanish is an advantage. 

"I can be strong on Israel," Rosen Gonzalez said. "I can go and give a rousing speech in Spanish about Jose Marti."

Rosen Gonzalez said this despite having sent a "None of us can beat Shalala" text message, which she also discussed Sunday. Aside from discussing her controversial flip-flop position on marijuana, Shalala also talked about the need for more subsidies for health care, and Medicaid coverage of rehab for opioid addiction.

Shalala also defended some of the decisions she made during her time with UM. She is still facing criticism for handling of the UM janitors' strike for better pay and Miami-Dade land sold to a developer

Rosen Gonzalez didn't talk about marijuana or healthcare. She talked about the Me Too movement and accusations she made against a candidate in Miami Beach. She also made her case for the need for free-for-all community college in South Florida

The other candidates in District 27's Democratic primary race include Matt Haggman, Michael Hepburn and David Richardson.

This Week in South Florida, which airs Sundays at 11:30 a.m., will interview the candidates before the race. 

This Week in South Florida's Editorial by Glenna Milberg



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