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Major wins and loses for Haitians in Florida

MIAMI  — Marleine Bastien, a longtime community organizer and activist, is stepping into the role of being the first Haitian woman to hold a Miami-Dade County Commission seat. Her win in the hotly contested race that once featured four Haitian Americans largely reflects the path of South Florida’s Haitian community in many ways, some say.

In the Nov. 8 races, several Haitian Americans held on to their seats, while others lost a congressional contest and a state race. According to the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections and AP Election Board, here’s a roundup of results in key races impacting Haitians as of late Tuesday.

Miami-Dade County Commission District 2

Encompasses North Miami, Opa-locka, North Miami Beach and parts of the city of Miami, Biscayne Gardens and Liberty City.

  • Marleine Bastien (WON), executive director of Family Action Network Movement (FANM)
  • Philippe Bien-Aime (LOST), North Miami mayor
  • Bastien received 58.88% with 22,040 votes. Bien-Aime received 41.12% with 15,390 votes.
Marleine Bastien blows a kiss to her supporters when she enters her watch party at the Holiday Inn Miami after winning a two year campaign for District 2 County Commissioner on November 8, 2022. (Haitian Times/Ashley Miznazi)

Florida State Representative 

District 105 (newly changed from District 101)

Encompasses Miramar, Hollywood, Pembroke Park and new areas of Miami-Dade County 

  • Marie Woodson (WON), Democrat, current office holder of District 101 
  • Woodson received 68.85% with 29,402 votes. Her Republican opponent, Vincent Parlatore, received 31.15% with 13,304 votes. 
  • District 101 has been reconfigured into District 105, which now includes large swaths of Miami-Dade County, including Doral and Sweetwater.
Marie Woodson talks to voters outside of the polls at David Park Community Center in Hollywood on November 8, 2022. (Haitian Times/Ashley Miznazi)

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Wilton Simpson (WON), Republican
  • Naomi Esther Blemur (LOST), Democrat, minister 
  • Simpson won with 59.3% with 4,504,323 votes, while Blemur received 40.7% with 3,090,023 votes.

Florida Senate 

  • Marco Rubio (WON), Republican
  • Val Demings (LOST), Democrat, U.S. representative from Florida’s 10th congressional district. While not Haitian, she is on the Haiti Caucus and introduced legislation to crack down on the funders of Haiti’s gangs.
  • Demings received 41.3% with 3,195,513 votes. Her Republican opponent, Marco Rubio received 57.7% with 4,468,468 votes 

U.S. Congress House of Representative Races 

District 20

Encompasses the area around Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach; including North Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, Tamarac, Miramar, Lake Park, Riviera Beach and parts of Pompano Beach and Sunrise.

  • Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (WON), Democrat, incumbent 
  • Drew Montez-Clark (LOST), Republican
  • Cherfilus-McCormick received 72.3%, or 135,789 votes, compared to Montez-Clark’s 27.7% share of the votes.

District 26

Encompasses Midtown, Wynwood, Overtown, parts of Opa-Locka, Hialeah, Miami Springs, Doral, Miami Lakes, Palm Springs, Country Club, Immokalee and Everglades City

  • Mario Díaz-Balart (WON), Republican
  • Christine Alexandria Olivo (LOST), Democrat, educator 
  • Olivo received 29.1% with 58,794 votes. Diaz-Balart received 70.9% with 143,188 votes.

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