|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 20th district
|Assumed office |
January 18, 2022
|Preceded by||Alcee Hastings|
January 25, 1979
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Education||Howard University (BA)|
St. Thomas University (JD)
Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (born January 25, 1979) is an American businesswoman and politician serving as the U.S representative for Florida's 20th congressional district. A member of the Democratic Party, she won a special election in 2022 to fill the seat left vacant after the death of Alcee Hastings.
Cherfilus-McCormick was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, to parents from Haiti and raised in the borough of Queens. She moved to Florida at 13 to attend high school. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government from Howard University and a Juris Doctor from the St. Thomas University School of Law.
After graduating from college, Cherfilus-McCormick served as a project manager for the New York City Transit Authority. From 1999 to 2007, she worked as the vice president for operations of Trinity Health Care Services, a Florida-based family home health care company co-founded by her stepfather, Gabriel Smith. She later served as CEO.
Cherfilus-McCormick ran for Florida's 20th congressional district in the August 28 Democratic primary against incumbent Alcee Hastings in 2018. She lost, 73.6%–26.4%.
Cherfilus-McCormick challenged Hastings again in 2020. She noted various ethics concerns facing Hastings and his health as reasons for running. She lost the August 18 primary, 69.3%–30.7%.
After Hastings died on April 6, 2021, Cherfilus-McCormick ran again in the 20th district in the 2022 special election. During the campaign, she loaned $3.7 million to her campaign organization. She campaigned on progressive policies such as a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and a $1,000-a-month universal basic income. Her campaign was supported by Brand New Congress, a progressive organization that also backed candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib.
After a recount, Cherfilus-McCormick was declared the winner of the Democratic primary by five votes over Broward County commissioner Dale Holness. She easily defeated Republican Jason Mariner in the January 11, 2022, general election. She is the only Haitian-American Democrat ever elected to Congress and only the second overall, after Republican Mia Love of Utah.
Cherfilus-McCormick defeated Republican nominee Drew Montez-Clark with 72% of the vote.
Cherfilus-McCormick married lawyer Corlie McCormick in 2017 and lives in Miramar, Florida.
|Democratic||Alcee Hastings (incumbent)||52,628||73.8|
|Democratic||Alcee Hastings (incumbent)||62,759||69.3|
|Democratic||Perry E. Thurston Jr.||7,282||14.8|
|Libertarian||Mike ter Maat||395||0.7|
|Democratic||Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (incumbent)||47,601||65.6|
|Democratic||Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (incumbent)||136,215||72.3|
|Republican||Drew Montez Clark||52,151||27.6|
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won Tuesday’s election to fill Florida’s vacant 20th Congressional District, returning her party to the 222-seat majority it held after the 2020 elections.