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Alcee Hastings poised to retain Florida’s District 20 Congress

Incumbent Alcee Hastings will maintain Florida's 20th Congressional District.
Incumbent Alcee Hastings will maintain Florida's 20th Congressional District. (WPLG)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings is poised to win his 15th term in Congress representing U.S. House District 20.

Hastings, 83, has beat every opponent since first being elected to office in 1992. He is the projected winner in this race.

With 23.9% of precincts reporting, the Democrat, Hastings, has an 80% lead over opponent Greg Musselwhite’s 20%.

His Republican opponent ran on restoring citizen representation to Washington, D.C. He worked as a pipe-fitter and welder for most of his career, from Florida to Washington State and from Texas to Minnesota. In 2007, he became a certified welding inspector and said that providing quality oversight was an enormous responsibility, and he was proud to serve with integrity.

He stated on his website: “Traveling across this great country has given me a unique perspective and allowed me to meet a lot of people from various backgrounds and cultures. Each place has its own way of solving problems. We can learn much from other’s successes as well as their failures.”

Hastings has served in many capacities in Congress as Vice Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (known as the Helsinki Commission), Senior Democratic Whip, and Dean and Co-Chairman of the Florida Congressional delegation.

Hastings' career has not been without its controversies. In 2019, the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into public allegations “arising out of Representative Alcee Hastings' personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office.” Hastings had admitted to being in a long-term relationship with his aide, Patricia Williams, who serves as his deputy district director. The investigation was dropped after the committee found out Hastings and Williams married in January 2019. Hastings was the subject of a previous ethics investigation in 2012, when a woman who once worked for him said he made unwanted sexual advances and threatened her job. The case dragged on for four years and an award was made of $220,000 of public funds in one of the largest secret settlements paid out by the congressional Office of Compliance.

See below for live results as the ballots are counted on Election Night, Nov. 3:

Candidate

Votes

%

Alcee Hastings*(D)
253,66179%
Greg Musselwhite(R)
68,74821%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(297 / 297)

In 1981, Hastings was indicted on bribery charges stemming from actions he allegedly took while he served as a federal judge. During that case, he was represented by Williams, according to the National Review. He was acquitted in court, but was impeached and convicted in Congress. A year after his impeachment, in 1990, Hastings represented Miami cult leader Yahweh Ben Yahweh in federal court.

Hastings states that his legislative priorities include continued efforts to create jobs and provide greater economic opportunities for middle class and working poor Americans; a more safe and secure country, fair elections, support small businesses, invest in green energy and infrastructure, increase access to quality, affordable health care for all, ban assault weapons; strengthen and improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; protect the environment and pursue environmental justice; and provide family and medical leave to all workers.

Musselwhite expected that he could beat the incumbent by telling The Palm Beach Post that he promised he’ll “show up for work.”

“In the current environment, and with his health issues, just showing up to work is probably going to be a challenge for him,” Musselwhite said. “Hastings doesn’t even answer the phone.”

Hastings announced last January he was being treated for pancreatic cancer.

According to Center for Responsive Politics, Hastings raised over half a million dollars and spent $486,847 on his campaign while Musselwhite raised $27,578 and spent $27,439, as of Oct. 14, 2020.

District 20 covers portions of Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Races Across South Florida


About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.