Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins announced Thursday she will run for a revamped Congressional District 27, challenging the incumbent Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar.
Higgins, who has served as County Commissioner since 2018, will be faced with a highly-contested and costly primary race against Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell, who on Tuesday abandoned his pursuit of a U.S. Senate seat and shifted his campaign focus to CD-27.
A statement given by Higgins indicates she will be focusing her campaign on topics such as investments in public safety and crime reduction, strengthening small business programs, and challenging South Florida’s high cost of living.
“I hear every day how Congress is broken, and residents see how partisan fights and personal agendas are at the forefront while problem-solving and addressing the challenges neighborhoods face are ignored. The incumbent congresswoman has voted against the best interest of the people of District 27 and I’ve had enough,” said Higgins. “As commissioner, I’ve worked with colleagues, regardless of party affiliation to get stuff done for our residents. I’ve worked with Mayors from both parties to tackle problems big and small, and that’s what I’ll do in Congress too.”
Salazar, a Trump-backed politician, has been one of President Joe Biden‘s fiercest critics in Congress, scarcely voting in agreeance with him. Portraying herself as a moderate Republican, Salazar said in 2018 that she wanted to do “whatever makes sense to the community.”
In 2021, Salazar voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, a vote that Higgins is attempting to use as early ammunition against Salazar.
“I’ve been dedicated to investing in our students, small business owners, and working families,” continued Higgins. “This is why I cannot understand how the incumbent voted against the American Rescue Plan to help small businesses and has stood in opposition to important investments that will make our streets safer and infrastructure stronger. I am proudly running for Congress to deliver for the people of Congressional District 27 and stay focused on problem-solving, not partisan food fights.”
Higgins will need to make up early ground gained by Russel upon his announcement of candidacy earlier this week.
Russell, who raised $1.2 million for the Senate campaign has already received an endorsement from former U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy.
“Excited to endorse [Ken Russell] in his race for Congress. Ken has a track record of getting things done, particularly when it comes to Climate Change and Florida’s Water Quality,” said Murphy on Twitter.