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Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick sworn in as Florida's newest member of Congress

Democrat, 41, fills seat previously held by Alcee Hastings
Nancy Pelosi swears in Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Jan. 18, 2022
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 20:27:15-05

WASHINGTON — Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick was sworn in Tuesday night as Florida's newest member of Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., administered the oath of office to the 41-year-old political newcomer Tuesday evening at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

The Democrat defeated Republican challenger Jason Mariner during last week's special election to occupy the seat formerly held by the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.

Hastings died of pancreatic cancer in April 2021. He had served in the U.S. House since 1993.

Cherfilus-McCormick won 79% of the vote in the Jan. 11 special election for Florida's 20th Congressional District. The district is made up of portions of Broward and Palm Beach counties and leans heavily Democratic.

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick smiles at election night party, Jan. 11, 2022
Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick smiles during an election night party, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Cherfilus-McCormick, a health care company CEO, defeated Republican Jason Mariner in the special election to fill Florida's 20th Congressional District seat.

Although Mariner wouldn't concede the race, that didn't prevent Cherfilus-McCormick from taking the oath of office and getting to work.

Cherfilus-McCormick won office calling for a guaranteed income of $1,000 a month for most adults, an increase in the federal minimum wage to $20 an hour and allowing all Americans to participate in Medicare.

She is a married mother of two and the daughter of Haitian immigrants.

Her victory boosts the Democrats' slender House majority to 222-212.