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Sanders a New Headache for Wasserman Schultz in Florida

Vanquished presidential candidate has it in for fallen party chair

Debbie Wasserman Schultz faces her first primary challenge. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz faces her first primary challenge. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In her statement on Sunday announcing her resignation as chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was focusing on serving her congressional district in Florida.  

That tidy statement belied a messy situation back home as she runs for a seventh term in the House.  

Wasserman Schultz’s fall from her lofty party perch on the eve of the presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia was tied to Bernie Sanders.  

He had long complained that the DNC favored his victorious rival, Hillary Clinton, in the primaries. That grievance wasn’t going far until last week’s release of DNC emails that seemed to back him up.  

When Wasserman Schultz arrives in South Florida after the convention for the stretch run of her campaign, she’ll face Tim Canova, who on his own probably wouldn’t stand a chance in the Aug. 30 primary.  

But Sanders is playing hardball with his new-found political power and has come through on his vow to make his fellow native New Yorker a private citizen again by backing the law professor and political novice with fundraising muscle. And so far, that’s paying off.  

Federal Election Committee reports show Canova raised $1.7 million in total contributions in the latest quarter compared to $1.2 million for Wasserman Schultz.  

Because the district is so heavily Democratic, the winner of the primary likely will take the seat in November.  

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