The Ripon Forum

Volume 54, No. 6

December 2020

The New Guard: Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27)

By on December 9, 2020

“I vow that I will represent the spirit that lives in this district – the ultimate melting pot.”


Snapshot of Victory: Maria Elvira Salazar defeated first term incumbent Democrat Rep. Donna Shalala by a vote of 51.4% to 48.6%.

Background: Congresswoman-elect Salazar is a prominent Spanish television journalist whose career has taken her from covering local issues to sitting down with leaders from across the globe. Her district is roughly 73 percent Hispanic and is a notable Republican pickup after political pundits across the country predicted that the districts demographics would buoy the Democratic incumbents chances for reelection. 

Salazar was born in Miamis Little Havana neighborhood to parents who emigrated from Cuba when Fidel Castro ascended to power. They came to America so they could raise a family in a land where individual liberty and freedom were not only protected but celebrated. Salazar would go on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Miami and later earn her Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

Over her three-decade-long career in journalism, which would earn her five Emmy Awards, Salazar would cover stories from South America to the nations capital. She started off by taking on local stories in Southern Florida for Univision before moving to CNN Español, where she would cover the White House and Gulf War. After returning to Univision, Salazar would boost her journalism credentials through her coverage of the Salvadoran Civil War and her in-depth reporting in Cuba – which led to her historic one-on-one interview with Fidel Castro himself. 

She would go on to become the national news anchorwoman for Telemundo and had her own show on the Miami-based network Mega TV. 

Throughout her noteworthy career, Salazar interviewed prominent individuals such as U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton & George W. Bush, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, Alvaro Uribe, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Augusto Pinochet, Nicolas Maduro, and Juan Guaidó.

Legislative Goals for Congress: One of Salazar’s primary goals is help facilitate job growth. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, thousands of people in Florida’s 27th Congressional District have seen their work hours reduced or have lost their jobs completely. She would create an employment division in her office dedicated to helping those out of work find new opportunities or learn new skills. 

Salazar has also said access to affordable healthcare will be a priority for her in Washington, and this includes maintaining protections for those with preexisting conditions and making sure young adults can stay in their parent’s plan up until they turn 26. Furthermore, she will push for letting the government negotiate drug prices and will try to create more competition by lifting the restrictions preventing individuals and families from buying health insurance across state lines.  

Key Quote:As your Congresswoman, I vow that I will represent the spirit that lives in this district – the ultimate melting pot.  I want Washington to know that the American Latino Community is not the caricature that they have painted in the media. We did not come to this country not to take, but to give. We want to build on this land, and we want to stay. Latinos are not victims, we are patriots. We care. We have not only love, but we have great gratitude for this country.” 

“And when faced with the so-called Democratic-Socialists, I will tell them that we have seen that dogma in action already and it does not work.”  (Source: Victory Speech on election night.)

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