The former mayor of Broward County has become the latest name to enter the race to replace late former U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings in Congress.
Dale Holness, who currently sits on the County Commission after serving for a year as mayor during the COVID pandemic, announces his candidacy for the seat Monday outside his real estate office in Plantation.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports several top officials from the county were in attendance, including Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony.
“Following in the legacy of Congressman Alcee Hastings is not going to be easy,” Holness said Monday. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Also in attendance was Hastings’ son, Alcee Hastings II.
“Dale has the grit, perseverance, determination, the compassion, to continue his legacy fighting for justice and fighting for quality for all,” Hastings II said.
Holness served on the city commission in Lauderhill before being elected to the county commission in 2010. He is expected to face off against several candidates in the Democratic Party primary, including fellow county commissioner Barbara Sharief.
Both candidates would have to resign from their current positions to run for the Congressional seat under Florida’s resign-to-run law.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has not announced the dates for the special primary and general elections to fill the seat. Holness has said he would like to see the elections held as soon as possible.
Hastings passed away April 6th at the age of 84. He spent 12 years as a judge that included a decade as on the court for the Southern District of Florida. After being impeached on bribery and perjury charges in 1989, Hastings later ran for Congress and was elected in 1992.
The Democrat was subsequently re-elected ever since and had spent time as a member of the Rules Committee and recently served as the co-chairman for Florida’s Congressional delegation.
The outspoken politician was critical of some Republicans who were in the White House during his time in office, twice objecting to the election and re-election of former President George W. Bush on the floor of the House.
In 2018, Hastings was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer but continued public appearances as well as his duties in Congress. He was the longest serving member of Florida’s delegation.
In recent days, he had reportedly been in hospice care. Hastings is survived by his wife, Patricia Williams, and three adult children from his previous marriages.