J'can seeking Florida seat in US CongressWednesday, September 15, 2021
JAMAICAN-BORN commissioner for Broward County in Florida, Dale Holness is among a large field of candidates seeking to represent the State's 20th congressional district in the United States Congress.
He is set to face off against 10 other candidates in the Democratic Party's primary election in a bid to fill the seat left vacant by Congressman Alcee Hastings, who died in April.
The primary election is schedule for November 2 this year, while the general election will take place on January 2 of next year.
Born in the parish of Hanover, Holness has held several elected offices in a political career spanning 17 years. He served as Broward County mayor at the height of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic last year, describing it as “the worst crisis in the county's history”.
Holness also served as commissioner for the city of Lauderhill, known for its large Jamaican population, and is an accomplished businessman and entrepreneur who has operated his own real estate business for the last 30 years.
In an interview, Holness listed the creation of the Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo — the largest of its kind in the Southeastern US — among his most important achievements. He also listed the provision of a $136-million Broward County Government funding contract which helped small, women- and minority-owned businesses increase from 10 per cent to 44 per cent last year.
Holness said he has focused his policies on economic development and that he wants to build on those achievements, “as well as the legacy and achievements of my friend and mentor, the late Congressman Hastings,” if elected.
He has been endorsed by a string of city and county elected officials as well as others throughout the district, which includes, Lauderhill, Miramar, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Belle Glade.
His campaign manager, Justin Porter, told the Jamaica Observer that with Republican registration in the district at only 13 per cent, Holness is expected win the general election easily, should he win the primary vote.
Porter said that latest polls show Holness in the lead with 35 per cent of the voters, with his nearest rival at 25 per cent, and 17 per cent for the candidate in third place.
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