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Trump-backed Republican unseats Shalala in Miami House race

Trump-backed Republican unseats Shalala in Miami House race
© Facebook: Maria Elvira Salazar

Maria Elvira Salazar is projected to defeat first-term congresswoman and former Clinton Health and Human Services Secretary Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaBiden's new challenge: Holding Trump accountable Trump, Florida complicate Biden approach to Cuba Florida Rep.-elect Elvira Salazar tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D), returning Florida’s 27th Congressional District to Republican control.

The Associated Press called the race at 10:53 p.m. EST on Tuesday.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for Salazar, who lost in the same head-to-head race against Shalala in 2018 after the retirement of Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenBottom line Democrats elect Meeks as first Black Foreign Affairs chairman House Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members MORE (R-Fla.).

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Salazar, who rose to prominence as a broadcast journalist working for Univision, Telemundo and CNN Español, will represent one of Florida’s Latino strongholds, which includes the “Little Havana” neighborhood.

"I vow that in Washington, I will represent the spirit that lives in this district, the ultimate melting pot, the city of Miami. To my constituents who did not vote for me, I will serve you as if you did, because I will work for what is right, not who was on my side," she said during her acceptance speech in front of a crowd of supporters Tuesday night.

She also said she hoped her presence would help counter the "caricature" of the Latino community.

"We did not come to this country to take but to give. We want to build on this land and we want to stay," she said.

The daughter of Cuban refugees, Salazar centered much of her campaign against socialism.

“We must not remain on the sidelines while many on the left want to implement in this country the failed socialist systems that brought misery, oppression and exile to many of our countries,” Salazar said in a video kicking off her 2020 campaign.

Salazar received the endorsement of President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE, who campaigned in Miami in the days before the election.

—Updated Wednesday at 12:11 a.m.