5 candidates seeking seat formerly held by Alcee Hastings

5 candidates seeking seat formerly held by Alcee Hastings

Several recognizable names have recently emerged as candidates looking to fill the seat long-held by U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., in Congress.

Hastings, who was honored Wednesday by his colleagues at the U.S. Capitol, died earlier this month at the age of 84.

Dubbed the dean of Florida's congressional delegation, Hastings won re-election 14 times since first making his way to Washington in 1993.

Now several familiar faces have announced they'll seek to take his place in Congress.

These are the four candidates looking to fill Hastings' seat in Florida's 20th congressional district, which includes portions of Broward and Palm Beach counties:

Bobby DuBose

Rep. Bobby DuBose, D-Fort Lauderdale, right, confers with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried during an environmental water bill passage during session Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Rep. Bobby DuBose, D-Fort Lauderdale, right, confers with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried during an environmental water bill passage during session Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla.

AGE: 50
OCCUPATION: Florida House of Representatives
RESIDENCY: Fort Lauderdale
POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist
EDUCATION: University of Florida
PERSONAL: Married with two sons

Bobby DuBose is the current minority leader in the Florida House. He has represented District 94, which includes most of Fort Lauderdale, since 2014.

DuBose is the Democratic ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Prior to seeking state office, DuBose served as vice mayor of Fort Lauderdale from 2011 to 2012.

Dale Holness

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness wears a "United We Stand" mask as he speaks to the news media outside the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Lauderhill, Fla.
Broward County Mayor Dale Holness wears a "United We Stand" mask as he speaks to the news media outside the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Lauderhill, Fla.

AGE: 64
OCCUPATION: Broward County Commissioner
RESIDENCY: Plantation
POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: N/A
EDUCATION: N/A
PERSONAL: N/A

Dale Holness was first elected to the Broward County Commission in 2010, receiving the endorsement of Hastings.

Holness represents District 9, encompassing all or portions of Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Sunrise, Tamarac and Plantation.

The real estate agent and mortgage broker has served as both mayor and vice mayor during his tenure.

Barbara Sharief

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief, Hubert Frach, divisional senior vice president of commercial operations, Western hemisphere of Emirates, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Director Mark Gale attend a news conference to mark the arrival of Emirates flight EK213 Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief, Hubert Frach, divisional senior vice president of commercial operations, Western hemisphere of Emirates, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Director Mark Gale attend a news conference to mark the arrival of Emirates flight EK213 Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

AGE: 49
OCCUPATION: Broward County Commissioner
RESIDENCY: Miramar
POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Muslim
EDUCATION: Florida International University (undergraduate degree), Wilkes University (doctorate degree)
PERSONAL: Mother of three daughters

Barbara Sharief made history in Broward County when she was selected as its first Black mayor.

Sharief was elected to the Miramar City Commission in 2009 and became vice mayor the next year. She was then elected to the Broward County Commission in 2010, representing District 8, which includes all or portions of Hallandale Beach, Miramar, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines and West Park.

After serving as vice mayor in 2012, she became the county's first Black mayor in 2013. She also held the titles of vice mayor and mayor again in 2015 and 2016.

A nurse practitioner by trade, the South Florida native is the founder and CEO of South Florida Pediatric Homecare, which has been providing pediatric and adult health care services since 2001.

Priscilla Taylor

Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St Lucie, right, talks with Rep. Priscilla Taylor, D-West Palm Beach, during session, Friday, April 28, 2006, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St Lucie, right, talks with Rep. Priscilla Taylor, D-West Palm Beach, during session, Friday, April 28, 2006, in Tallahassee, Fla.

AGE: 71
OCCUPATION: Retired insurance agency owner
RESIDENCY: West Palm Beach
POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Episcopal
EDUCATION: Barry University (undergraduate degree), Palm Beach Atlantic University (graduate degree)
PERSONAL: Divorced with two children

Priscilla Taylor is a former Port of Palm Beach commissioner and state legislator who has been absent from politics since 2016.

Taylor was first elected to the Florida House in 2004, winning re-election in 2006 and 2008. She was Democratic whip from 2004-06.

Endorsed by Addie Greene after her resignation, Taylor gave up a re-election bid to accept an appointment by then-Gov. Charlie Crist to fill Greene's seat on the Palm Beach County Commission in 2009.

Appointed Palm Beach County mayor in 2014, Taylor lost her seat on the county commission in 2016. She later unsuccessfully sought to become the next mayor of West Palm Beach in 2019.

Perry Thurston

Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, debates on a confirmation appointment during session Friday, March 13, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, debates on a confirmation appointment during session Friday, March 13, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla.

AGE: 60
OCCUPATION: Florida Senate
RESIDENCY: Fort Lauderdale
POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist
EDUCATION: Morehouse College (undergraduate degree), University of Miami (law degree)
PERSONAL: Married with son and daughter

Perry Thurston was elected without opposition to the Florida Senate in 2016.

The Fort Lauderdale attorney previously served four terms in the Florida House from 2006-14 and was the House minority leader in his final term.

Thurston unsuccessfully sought to unseat Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2014, but his campaign ended when he lost to George Sheldon in the Democratic primary.

He is expected to succeed Gary Farmer as minority leader of the state Senate in the next legislative session.
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There are no Republicans who have officially announced a bid in the congressional district, which skews heavily Democratic.

It will be up to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to determine when a special election will be held. He has not yet set a date.

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