Alex Rodriguez records robocall for Democrat in tight Florida House race

Alex Rodriguez records robocall for Democrat in tight Florida House race
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Former professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez recorded a robocall for Democratic congressional candidate Donna Shalala.

Shalala is running in a tight congressional race in Florida's 27th Congressional District against Republican Maria Elvira Salazar. 

“Hi, this is Alex Rodriguez asking you to support my friend Donna Shalala for Congress. Donna Shalala is a great Miamian who was president of the University of Miami for 14 years and led us to new heights. In addition to educating fellow Miamians, Donna also helped to create over 5,000 jobs with an annual economic impact of six billion for South Florida,” Rodriguez said in the call.

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“Her time at the U and her work as a U.S. secretary for health and human services, where she helped bring healthcare to nine million kids, make her the best candidate for district 27. Please support Donna Shalala for Congress,” he added.

CNN's Andrew Kaczynski was the first to report the robocall.

Shalala and Salazar are facing off to replace retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenFlorida New Members 2019 House GOP returns to Washington after sobering midterm losses Dem wins leave behind a more conservative GOP conference MORE (R).

The district’s borders were redrawn due to a court order three years ago, concentrating it in parts of urban Miami and its sprawling suburbs, areas that are typically favorable to Democrats. Rodriguez lived in Miami for several years as a child.

However, Salazar’s decades working for Spanish-language Telemundo, scoring interviews with Latin American leaders like former Cuban President Fidel Castro and former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, helped ingratiate her with the district’s Hispanic population. 

Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban émigré who won reelection in 2016 by 10 points despite Trump’s loss in her district, has endorsed Salazar as her successor. Shalala also had to endure a bruising primary to win the nomination, which she did by fewer than five points. Salazar did not face a competitive primary opponent.

The race is one of the nation’s tightest, with The Cook Political Report initially rating it as “lean Democratic” before changing it to “toss up” and then back to “lean Democratic.” Democrats are keen to flip the seat, seeing it as fertile ground after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters Former Facebook security chief: 'I failed to prepare my employer' on Russian disinformation Rand Paul: Facebook must 'convince conservatives they're not the enemy' MORE won the district by nearly 20 points.