Current Position: US Representative for FL 27th District since 2021
Former Position(s): Journalist and author from 1983 – 2020
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Contracting & Infrastructure
Thank you to all of my @HouseGOP friends & colleagues who stand with the freedom-loving people of #Cuba in their fight against the savage Castro dictatorship!
Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar: “This Is the Beginning of the End’ for Cuba’s Communist Regime”
Fox News, – August 31, 2021 (Short)
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar and a dozen Republican lawmakers are set to launch a plan that would provide access to wireless communications abroad to ensure individuals can use cellular devices amidst natural disasters or when “rogue regimes” shut down internet access.
Salazar, R-Fla., is expected to roll out the “American Freedom and Internet Access Act of 2021” on Tuesday—also known as “Operation Starfall.”
Fox News obtained a copy of the legislation, which would deploy stratospheric balloons, aerostats, or satellite technology capable of rapidly delivering wireless internet anywhere on the planet, from the stratosphere, or higher.
Source: Government page
Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar proudly represents Florida’s 27th Congressional District, passionately serving the people of South Florida. She currently serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as the House Committee on Small Business.
Congresswoman Salazar is committed to acting tirelessly in defense of individual rights and liberties, spearheading economic development & job training efforts, and promoting environmental resiliency in her community. She is well-known for her advocacy for Human Rights and democracy around the world, especially for the people of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, as well as for her unabashed support of our global & regional partners such as Israel, Colombia, and Taiwan.
Congresswoman Salazar is a five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist— she has spent her career holding the corrupt and powerful accountable. Congresswoman Salazar has gone toe-to-toe with Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, and most notably Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, being the only US Spanish-language journalist to ever interview the tyrant one-on-one. Starting at the age of 22, she has worked for every major US Spanish-language broadcasting network: Telemundo, Univision, AmericaTeve, MegaTV, and CNN en Español.
Salazar was born in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, the daughter of Cuban exiles. She studied at the Deerborne School of Coral Gables and graduated from Miami Dade College. Salazar holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Miami and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Congresswoman Salazar currently resides in Coral Gables with her two daughters, Nicoletta and Martina.
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Committee on Small Business
- Subcommittee on Contracting & Infrastructure (Ranking Member)
Republican Main Street Partnership
Washington, DC 20515
Miami, FL 33126
Miami, FL 33133
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157
Miami, FL 33173
North Bay Village, FL 33141
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Cutler Bay, FL 33189
María Elvira Salazar (born November 1, 1961) is an American journalist, author, and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 27th congressional district. She is currently one of the Republican assistant whips under Steve Scalise. Prior to entering politics, she worked for the Spanish-language network Telemundo for three decades after serving as a news anchor for Miami-based Mega TV. She has also worked for CNN Español and Univision.
She was the Republican nominee for Congress in 2018, losing to Donna Shalala. Salazar won the 2020 rematch, receiving 51.4% to Shalala’s 48.6%. Salazar’s term in office commenced on January 3, 2021, and she was scheduled to be sworn in to the 117th United States Congress that day, but she was diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly before the start of the term, and was sworn in on January 12 instead.
Early life and education
Salazar was born in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, the daughter of Cuban exiles. She grew up bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English. She spent part of her childhood in Puerto Rico.
Salazar studied at the Deerborne School of Coral Gables and graduated from Miami Dade College. In 1983, Salazar earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Miami, and in 1995, she earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University‘s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Her journalism career began in 1983 as a general assignment reporter for Channel 23.
In 1984, she served as senior political correspondent for the National News in Spanish television in the U.S. for the Spanish International Network, which later became Univision. In 1988, she began working as a White House and Pentagon correspondent for Univision. In 1991, she became the bureau chief at the Central America division of Univision while covering the war at El Salvador.
In 1993, she started working for the Telemundo Network, serving later as senior political correspondent for Telemundo in Cuba. In 1995, she interviewed Fidel Castro for Telemundo at the Cuban mission to the UN. She is said to have been the only U.S. Spanish-language television journalist to interview Castro one-on-one.
In 1996, she was one of the two Hispanic journalists that participated in the only political debate in the 50 years after the Cuban revolution between two politically active figures: Ricardo Alarcon, the president of the National Cuban Assembly, and Jorge Mas Canosa, the founder and president of the Cuban American National Foundation and one of the most famous supporters of the anti-Castro movement.
Salazar spent three decades working at Telemundo until 2002, when she left that TV station and continued her career as a journalist with America TV 41 with her own political news show Maria Elvira Confronta. Later, in 2003, she moved to Channel 22.
In 2006, Raul Alarcon, owner of Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), purchased channel 22, and the channel is now known as Mega TV. She then changed the name of the program to “Polo Opuestos” under the new owners. She maintained the debate dynamic of her show, but renamed it Maria Elvira Live!.
Salazar has said that after her interview with Fidel Castro, her second biggest television interview was with the former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet, in 2003. This interview was cited by Chilean Judge Juan Guzman as a legal basis to rule Pinochet “mentally competent to stand trial for human rights violations”.
Salazar has interviewed several public figures, among them, presidents Bill Clinton (1999) and George W. Bush (2001), Mexican presidents Vicente Fox and Carlos Salinas de Gortari (2005), Spanish President José María Aznar (2007), Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (2008) and Juan Manuel Santos (2014), and Mother Teresa.
She has appeared frequently as a guest on Fox News television programs such as Fox & Friends, The O’Reilly Factor, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity and The Ingraham Angle, as well as Mornings with Maria on the Fox Business Network and on the conservative network Newsmax, sometimes stylized under the name Elvira Salazar. Among her topics of discussion are immigration, border security and the fight against socialism.
U.S. House of Representatives
The Miami Herald reported in January 2018 that retiring Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican who had represented the 27th congressional district since 1989, had met with Salazar. Ros-Lehtinen said that her district was “totally winnable for the right candidate” from the Republican Party, adding that Salazar “could be the right candidate.”
In March 2018, Salazar announced her candidacy to represent the district, which includes Miami Beach, most of Miami, Kendall, and parts of coastal south Dade County. The traditionally Republican district, which includes wealthy communities like Miami Beach, Key Biscayne and Coral Gables as well as Little Havana in Miami, had been trending Democratic in recent years.
Salazar’s Republican primary opponent, Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, criticized her for her 1995 interview with Fidel Castro, in which she referred to the Cuban dictator as a “comandante”, as well as a 2016 appearance on Fox News where she described Barack Obama‘s rapprochement with Cuba as “noble.” Salazar called Barreiro’s attack advertising “defamatory,” and said that “I have been one of the staunchest, most hardest critics of the Cuban Revolution on the air.”
On August 28, 2018, Salazar won the Republican primary by a margin of about 15 points over her leading competitor, Bruno Barreiro. Former Clinton cabinet member Donna Shalala won the Democratic nomination for the seat. The only debates held during the general election were conducted in Spanish. Shalala does not speak Spanish and used an interpreter, giving Salazar an advantage. Each of the candidates declined opportunities to debate the other in English due to scheduling conflicts. Although Hillary Clinton had won the district by almost 20 points in 2016 – Clinton’s best showing in a Republican-held district – polling as late as a month out from Election Day showed Salazar either narrowly ahead or statistically tied with Shalala. Salazar lost the general election to Shalala, who received about 52 percent of the vote.
In August 2019, Salazar announced her candidacy to run in a rematch against Shalala. She was endorsed by President Donald Trump and won the Republican primary in August 2020 and faced Shalala in the November general election. The Cook Political Report, as well as various polling firms, classified the seat as “Likely Democratic”. However, Salazar won the seat by a 51.4% to 48.6% margin. She subsequently became one of 19 new Republican women elected to the House of Representatives in the 2020 elections. She is also considered a rising star in the Republican Party. Politico reported that Shalala attributed Salazar’s strength to the potency of the socialism attacks amongst the Cuban population in Miami, aided by Shalala referring to herself as a “pragmatic socialist”.
In late 2020, Salazar was identified as a participant in the Freedom Force, a group of incoming Republican members of the House of Representatives who “say they’re fighting against socialism in America”. Due to her COVID-19 quarantine, Salazar missed voting on certifying the presidential election results in the House on January 6, 2021. On January 12, 2021, the day she was sworn in to Congress, Salazar joined fellow Miami Republicans Mario Díaz-Balart and Carlos Giménez, voting against removing Trump via the 25th Amendment. She voted against the second impeachment of Donald Trump on January 13, 2021.
On February 4, 2021, Salazar was one of eleven Republicans who voted to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of her House Education and Labor Committee, and House Budget Committee assignments in response to controversial statements she had made about school shootings at Parkland and Sandy Hook, among other things, joining her fellow Freedom Force members Carlos Gimènez and Nicole Malliotakis. Salazar released a statement on her vote, saying in part, “As I have repeatedly criticized Ilhan Omar for her anti-Semitic comments, I had to hold Marjorie Taylor Greene accountable for her denial of the Parkland Massacre, the Flight 77 crash, and accusing a Jewish family of starting the California wildfires. From now on, I will hold every Democrat to this new standard that they have created.”
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Committee on Small Business
Salazar joined Senator Marco Rubio in suggesting that birthright citizenship should be “reviewed,” citing abuse of the law by foreign visitors to South Florida. She has said she might be open to the possibility of offering citizenship for some undocumented immigrants.
Portraying herself as a moderate Republican, Salazar said in 2018 that she wanted to do “whatever makes sense to the community”; on then-President Donald Trump, Salazar said: “The president has used pretty insensitive words. I will talk to him in a nice, respectful way, because I do respect the institution of the presidency.”
Salazar publicly supported a carbon tax proposal by then-Rep. Carlos Curbelo, which many other Republicans rejected. One of Salazar’s campaign commercials vowed to fight for environmental protection in Congress.
In March 2021, Salazar was one of eight Republicans to join the House majority in passing the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. Salazar has declared herself a “firm believer in the Second Amendment,” while also saying that “ways must be found to keep guns out of the reach of those who should never have them, namely children, criminals and the mentally ill”. She has endorsed criminal background checks and called for “effectively closing loopholes that allow criminals to have access to firearms.” Salazar said that she might also back an assault weapons ban, and she also supports universal background checks.
Salazar said that she would only support repeal of the Affordable Care Act if a viable alternative were presented. She opposed repeal of the ACA’s mandate that health insurers cover pre-existing conditions, but called for “free market” policies on health insurance.
On February 25, 2021, Salazar voted against the Equality Act, a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to explicitly include new protections. Salazar said the bill “missed the mark by removing religious freedom protections.”
Salazar criticized President Barack Obama‘s policy of engagement with Cuba, saying that she would support lifting the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba only once there is democracy in the country. She has heavily criticized Bernie Sanders for “his honeymoon in the Soviet Union” and “his praise for Nicaragua’s and Cuba’s socialist regimes”. She said that Democratic socialism means: “misery, oppression and exile”.
Statehood for Puerto Rico
|Republican||Maria Elvira Salazar||115,588||45.8|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|Republican||Maria Elvira Salazar||176,141||51.4|
|Democratic||Donna Shalala (incumbent)||166,758||48.6|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
Honors and awards
- Hispanic and Latino conservatism in the United States
- List of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States Congress
- Religious affiliation in the United States House of Representatives
- Women in the United States House of Representatives
- Nicol, Ryan (January 19, 2021). “Maria Elvira Salazar named assistant whip for House GOP”. Florida Politics. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
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- Vassolo, Martin (August 28, 2018). “Salazar beats Barreiro in GOP primary in Florida’s 27th congressional district”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Daugherty, Alex (November 4, 2020). “Maria Elvira Salazar defeats Donna Shalala in Florida’s 27th Congressional District”. Miami Herald. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
- Valdez, Yvonne H. “Maria Elvira Salazar derrota a Donna Shalala en la carrera por el escaño en el Congreso del Distrito 27 de Miami-Dade”. South Florida Sun Sentinel. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
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- “Univision broadcaster Maria Elena Salinas to go solo after more than three decades”. Miami Herald. December 5, 2017.
- “La familia Castro, historia de desencuentros y lealtades: cómo anunció Raúl la muerte de su hermano Fidel” [The Castro family, history of disagreements and loyalties: how Raúl announced the death of his brother Fidel]. iProfessional. November 26, 2016.
- Dougherty, Alex (March 1, 2018). “Journalist Maria Elvira Salazar joins GOP race for Ros-Lehtinen’s seat”. Miami Herald.
- DEBORAH RAMIREZ. “CUBAN POLITICAL RIVALS MEET IN HISTORIC DEBATE”. Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- “Shalala-Salazar Congressional Race Tests Limits Of Democratic Appeals To Hispanic Voters”. October 25, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
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- Edo Herrera (October 17, 2012), Especial Pablo Escobar – Plata o plomo (Completo), retrieved April 21, 2019
- Daugherty, Alex; GOP candidate Salazar says attacks of her interview with Fidel Castro aren’t sticking; Miami Herald; August 25, 2018; 
- María Elvira Salazar (November 10, 2010), ENTREVISTA A PINOCHET – MARIA ELVIRA SALAZAR, retrieved April 20, 2019
- “Pinochet Competent, Must Stand Trial, Judge Rules”. Los Angeles Times. December 14, 2004. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
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- Bosch, Adri (March 20, 2013). “Entrevista exclusiva con Yoani Sánchez(Part 1 ,2,3 video completo )por Maria Elvira Salazar”. The Bosch’s Blog (in Spanish). Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- TeleMiami (April 30, 2014), María Elvira Salazar entrevista al presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, en Mira TV, retrieved July 19, 2019
- “The Dangerous Impact of Socialism”. Fox News. February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- “Maria Elvira Salazar at the OReilly factor – Fox News – Nov 4, 2016”. Fox News. November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- “Florida candidate: Pelosi, Obama ‘traitors’ to Hispanics”. Fox News. August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
- “María Elvira Salazar and Sean Hannity on AOC´S progressive squad”. Fox News. November 25, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- “María Elvira Salazar & Sean Hannity discuss Border Security”. Fox News. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- “María Elvira Salazar – The Ingraham Angle”. The Ingraham Angle. November 11, 2020. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
- “Congresswoman Elect Salazar Highlights GOP Freshman Class Diversity, Shows “American Exceptionality““. Maria Elvira Salazar. November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- “Elvira salazar at Newsmax Now”. Newsmax. October 17, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
- Cuban American Journalist Could Replace Ros-Lehtinen; News Americas; August 29, 2018; 
- Daugherty, Alex; Republicans can’t generate buzz for Ros-Lehtinen’s seat, and some say it’s unwinnable; Miami Herald; January 2, 2018; 
- Michael; re; Buchanan, Larry; Bloch, Matthew; Bowers, Jeremy; Cohn, Nate; Coote, Alastair; Daniel, Annie; Harris, Richard (November 5, 2018). “Midterm Election Poll: Florida’s 27th District, Salazar vs. Shalala”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Smiley, David (August 1, 2018). “Old Fidel Castro interview haunts Cuban-American journalist’s congressional campaign”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Vassolo, Martin (August 28, 2018). “Salazar beats Barreiro in GOP primary in Florida’s 27th congressional district”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- Smiley, David (October 29, 2018). “Given the chance to debate in English, Shalala says ‘Gracias, pero no‘“. The Miami Herald. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Lesley Clark (October 7, 2018). “Everybody knows her name, but Donna Shalala is finding it difficult to get to Congress”. McClatchy Washington Bureau.
- Rivero, Daniel (November 6, 2018). “Maria Elvira Salazar Loses Race But Keeps Her Head High”. WLRN. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Molina, Daniel. “Trump Endorses Maria Elvira Salazar over ‘Pragmatic Socialist’ Shalala”. The Floridian. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
- Bikales, James (August 18, 2020). “Shalala to face Salazar in Florida rematch”. The Hill. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
- 2020 Election Results, Florida 27th Congressional District, USA Today, November 17, 2020. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
- Denkmann, Libby. Four Lessons From The Southern California House Seats Republicans Reclaimed In 2020, KPCC, 89.3 FM, Southern California Public Radio, Pasadena, California, December 3, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
- Stabile, Angelica (November 9, 2020). “13 GOP women join the House, dominating congressional elections, making history”. FOX News. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- “‘This is the year of Republican women:’ House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, Congresswoman-elect Maria Salazar, R-FL, and Congresswoman-elect Stephanie Bice, R-OK, on ‘Fox & Friends Weekend‘“. Fox and Friends Weekend. November 14, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
- “María Elvira Salazar wins Florida congressional race – The Ingraham Angle – Fox News”. The Ingraham Angle. November 4, 2020. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
- Mutnick, Ally. The biggest surprises of the 2020 Democratic House debacle, Politico, November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
- “Socialism, Obamacare and the pandemic: TV attacks intensify in Shalala-Salazar race”. Miami Herald. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
- Jankowicz, Mia. “A group of incoming GOP House members, calling themselves the ‘Freedom Force,’ are trying to counter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Squad‘“. Business Insider.
- Parrott, Jeff (December 29, 2020). “GOP’s ‘Freedom Force’ members say they are ready to take on the ‘socialist Squad‘“. Deseret News.
- Parke, Caleb (December 1, 2020). “GOP Congresswoman-elect on forming ‘Freedom Force’: Left is ‘totally out of line’ with mainstream”. Fox News.
- “The ‘Freedom Force’: Republican group takes on the Squad and ‘evil’ socialism”. The Guardian. November 30, 2020.
- Trump second impeachment vote, New York Times, WEIYI CAI, ANNIE DANIEL, LAZARO GAMIO and ALICIA PARLAPIANO, January 13, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
- Clare Foran, Daniella Diaz and Annie Grayer. “House votes to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from committee assignments”. CNN. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
- “Tweets by Rep. María Elvira Salazar”. Twitter. February 4, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
- “35 Republicans vote in favor of Jan. 6 commission”. Axios. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
- “Committees and Caucuses | Representative Maria Salazar”. salazar.house.gov. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
- “MEMBERS”. RMSP. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
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- “Florida pro-life candidate unseats former Clinton HHS secretary in House race”. Catholic News Agency. November 6, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
- Vassolo, Martin (October 31, 2018). “Miami GOP candidate Salazar says birthright citizenship should be ‘reviewed‘“. The Miami Herald. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Mazzei, Patricia (October 2, 2018). “For Democrats, Flipping a Miami Congressional Seat Is Harder Than They Thought”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Ocner, Matias J. “Salazar casts herself as moderate Republican open to carbon tax, assault weapons ban”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- “South Florida Reps. Split Along Party Lines on COVID Relief Bill”. NBC 6 South Florida. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
- Nicol, Ryan (October 12, 2018). “New Maria Elvira Salazar ad: ‘Our environment’ depends on this election”. Florida Politics. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Juliegrace Brufke (March 11, 2021). “The eight Republicans who voted to tighten background checks on guns”. The Hill.
- “Maria Elvira Salazar”. Ballotpedia. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- “Second time’s the charm for South Florida’s Maria Elvira Salazar”. Jewish Insider. December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- “Miami Republican flips vote on bill to provide protections for LGBTQ people”. The Miami Herald. February 25, 2021.
- “Latina Republican known as ‘Maria Elvira’ battles Donna Shalala for Fla. congressional seat”. NBC News. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- “The Deep Roots of Sanders’ Socialism”. Maria Salazar. April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- In Conversation With Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar | Forbes, retrieved September 28, 2021
- “SALAZAR JOINS GONZALEZ-COLON IN INTRODUCING PUERTO RICO STATEHOOD ADMISSION ACT”. Office of Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar. March 2, 2021.
- “Cuban American Journalist Could Replace Ros-Lehtinen”. News Americas. August 29, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- Gross, Elana Lyn; Voytko, Lisette; McGrath, Maggie (June 2, 2021). “The New Golden Age”. Forbes. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
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- Ex-husband’s financial woes create house of horrors for Miami congressional candidate, Miami Herald, David Smiley, September 27, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
- Representative Maria Elvira Salazar official U.S. House website
- Campaign website
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- CiberCuba Biographical Info
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- House Committee on Foreign Affairs
- House Committee on Small Business