Donna Shalala, the former President of the University of Miami and Health and Human Services secretary under Bill Clinton, has announced her plans to run for Congress in Florida’s 27th district. The news comes nearly one year after incumbent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen announced her plans to retire from Congress.
Despite being a longtime Clinton ally, serving as head of the Clinton Foundation after a 14-year stint as University of Miami’s President,Shalala has a storied history of bipartisanship in Washington, working for both Democrats and Republicans over the course of her career. In 2007, she was handpicked by George W. Bush to run the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors along with Senator Bob Dole. In 2008, President Bush awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Before joining the Bush administration, Shalala was appointed HHS Secretary by President Bill Clinton, staying in the position for 8 years, the longest tenure for an HHS Secretary in history.
Shalala released a video explaining why she’s throwing her hat in the ring saying, “Everything we fought for in our lives is under attack under the slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’,” and adding, “Running for Congress was never in my plans. But now I realize everything we fought for is at risk.”
— Donna E. Shalala (@DonnaShalala) March 7, 2018
The district, which encompasses the greater part of Miami and Coral Gables, is relatively Dem-friendly, going for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by nearly 20 points during the 2016 presidential election.
Shalala was in Washington for the annual Alfalfa Club Dinner shaking hands and greeting old friends including Sally Quinn. Here’s an interview with Shalailah and the Miami Herald after news of the announcement broke.