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Race To Replace Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Tightly Contested On Both Sides Of Aisle

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In Miami-Dade County, voters were choosing a democrat and republican that will face off to replace Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, retiring after nearly three decades in Congress.

Donna Shalala, former University of Miami President and Bill Clinton cabinet member, voted for herself in Coral Gables.

Shalala is running against state Rep. David Richardson, former reporter Matt Hagman, former Miami Beach commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and former Fortune 500 executive and activist Michael Hepburn.

In Coconut Grove, Richardson campaigned for votes on Tuesday, hoping to knock off Shalala and the rest.

On the Republican side, Maria Elvira Salazar met with reporters and voters in Coral Gables on Tuesday.

She is battling former county commissioner Bruno Barreiro for a spot on the November ballot.

Salazar, a popular Spanish language broadcaster, is counting on exposure equaling victory.

"Viewers turned into voters," she said.

Barreiro meanwhile worked the vote in Key Biscayne. Turnout is key for him to win, he says.

Republicans have a couple of interesting choices in this race.

Angie Chirino is the daughter of the famed singer Willy Chirino and also in the race is Bettina Aguilera, who is endorsed by the Miami Herald and who says she has traveled in space with aliens.

The very popular Ros-Lehtinen held on to her seat in 2016, but not in a landslide, after it was redistricted to be primarily democrat.

Hillary Clinton carried the district by nearly 20 points in 2016, and pundits are predicting the democratic nominee will be the winner come November.


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