Republican Nominee for U.S. Congress, Florida's 27th District
By Martha Jenkins, North Carolina
Maria Elvira Salazar, brimming with confidence, tells why she is going to be the next Member of Congress from Florida’s 27th District.
“I am going to win because I represent the community! Our community in Miami is different from many communities in the country. We are truly diverse. But people get along—Cubans, Venezuelans, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, African Americans, we all get along. We are one community.”
The 27th District includes Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne and Little Havana. Demographically, the district is 72 percent Hispanic, but Hispanics only account for 57 percent of registered voters. The contest this year is for an open seat, with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s retirement. Including an independent candidate, three women are running for this seat. The Democrat’s name is familiar to anyone who remembers the Clinton years; it’s Donna Shalala.
Salazar is so well-known throughout the district that she doesn’t even need to use her last name. She has been an Emmy-winning political journalist for Univision and Telemundo for 35 years. She hosted her own show, “Maria Elvira Live.” Wherever she goes, people know her and call out to her.
“The Democrats have miscalculated,” she says. “Donna Shalala has nothing in common with our people.”
Salazar is full of personality, and her Cuban background is authentic. Her grandmother stood up to the Castro Revolution, taking huge risks. Her mother, now 83 and an avid campaigner for her daughter, owned a shoe store in Havana, and the Communists confiscated it.
Salazar was born and raised in Miami and attended the University of Miami (before Shalala was its president). She later attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where she often argued with liberals about communism and Cuba, before entering the journalism world. Salazar is, of course, fluent in Spanish, which gives her another advantage over her opponents. She has two daughters, ages 18 and 19. She has left journalism to campaign full time.
“Our people need jobs,” declares Salazar. She believes the Trump economy will help people in her district. Her three main issues are immigration, opportunity and jobs, and housing.