Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and husband, Corlie (Patrick Green /CNW photo)

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, the 39 year old Haitian-American healthcare executive, is the new representative in congress from District 20.

Cherfilus-McCormick defeated Republican Jason Mariner in Tuesday’s Special election and will replace the late Democratic Florida U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings. Hastings was the longest-serving member of the Florida delegation before he died in April of pancreatic cancer.

For more than 10 years she was the CEO of Trinity Health Care Services, which provides in-home care. She is a married mother of two.

The new congress woman was expected to win, after defeating fellow Democrat Dale Holness in a hotly contested race, by just five votes last November.  The district is heavily Democratic by a margin of 5 to 1.  The win makes her the first Democrat of Haitian descent to serve in Congress.

With a huge spending chest in the primary which included a personal loan of over $3.7 million, she outspent and out-advertised 11 other democrats to win her primary, promising a monthly $1,000 check to Americans.