Tags: Wasserman Schultz | Congress | Florida | DNC | emails | Leaked | Tim Canova

Wasserman Schultz Primary Win Seen as Almost Certain

Image: Wasserman Schultz Primary Win Seen as Almost Certain

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By    |   Thursday, 11 Aug 2016 10:04 AM

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz may have lost her top seat on the Democratic National Committee, but she almost certainly won't lose her seat in Congress.

After resigning in the wake of the DNC email leaks scandal, Wasserman Schultz is defending her seat from Democratic challenger Tim Canova in the largely suburban, heavily Democratic district near Miami. Now political operatives and analysts reportedly expect the six-term incumbent to win the Aug. 30 vote.

"As much as I would like to say otherwise, I think his chances are pretty slim," Ben Pollara, a consultant for the Democratic Party and a former employee of Wasserman Schultz, told Politico. "I think on the basis of demographics, it doesn't matter who the challenger is or what the issues are, barring something like an indictment, it's her district."

Pollara manages The United for Care Campaign, which is working to get medical marijuana legalized in Florida. Wasserman Schultz has opposed medicinal cannabis.

Canova wasn't widely known among Democratic operatives before announcing his bid, but with the help of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, he raised $1 million in the first five months of his dark-horse campaign. Through June, he has reported raising $2.2 million this year to Wasserman Schultz's $2.7 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Sanders, a self-declared socialist and a U.S. Senator from Vermont, repeatedly accused Wasserman Schultz of working to undermine his campaign for the Democratic nomination while she was head of the DNC.

The emails released by Wikileaks showed the congresswoman said, "spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do."

Wasserman Schultz has nonetheless been winning elections in south Florida for decades and this is the first time she's faced a primary opponent.

"As much of a lightning rod as she's become at the national level … this is still a district that voted for her up and down the ballot since 1992, when she first got elected to the statehouse," Steve Schale, a strategist for Democrats who headed President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign in Florida, told Politico. "I think sometimes we all get caught up in the merit of these national races and the DNC stuff, and you tend to forget that these local races are decided by largely local factors."

Wasserman Schultz and Canova may have a 15-minute debate on WFOR-TV this Sunday.

The congresswoman has agreed, but Canova, a law professor, had called for a series of six debates, saying "the voters of my district deserve better than a mere 15 minutes of discussion on the issues," according to the Sun Sentinel.

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U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz may have lost her top seat on the Democratic National Committee, but she almost certainly won't lose her seat in Congress.
Wasserman Schultz, Congress, Florida, DNC, emails, Leaked, Tim Canova
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2016-04-11
Thursday, 11 Aug 2016 10:04 AM
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