Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.) was sworn into the House Tuesday, making her the newest member and boosting the Democrats’ slim majority to 222-212.
Cherfilus-McCormick won the special election to succeed the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) in Florida’s 20th Congressional District — which includes Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach — last week. Hastings represented the district for decades until he died last April from pancreatic cancer and warded off primary challenges from Cherfilus-McCormick in 2018 and 2020.
The newest representative won over voters by promising to push for $1,000 monthly stimulus payments for adults with annual incomes of less than $75,000 a year. Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, who ran against Cherfilus-McCormick, has sued to overturn the results of the primary, claiming that she failed to turn over financial disclosure documents and bribed voters with her promise of delivering the stimulus payments.
Cherfilus-McCormick told members of the House after she took the oath of office that her parents were Haitian immigrants who made many sacrifices to move to the United States.
“I thank my colleagues who fought for me even before I was born to ensure that immigrants can actually have a place in our country and live the American dream,” the Florida Democrat said, according to The Associated Press.