Miami State Senator Annette Taddeo has made her candidacy for Florida governor official. By filing campaign papers with the Florida Division of Elections on Monday, Taddeo has shaken up a Democratic field with an uphill battle ahead.
As reported by the Miami Herald, Taddeo will face U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the Democratic primary. The victor will challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022.
“We need a governor who will actually govern,” Taddeo told the Miami Herald in an interview last week. “We clearly have someone that is more concerned about being president than he is about running Florida, more worried about Republican primary voters in Iowa than he is about families here in Florida.”
Breaking news: I’m running for Governor of our great state of Florida, because I believe in us! Yo confío en nosotros. Join us and let's make history. pic.twitter.com/5o9n6T4hBD
— Annette Taddeo (She/Her/Ella) (@Annette_Taddeo) October 18, 2021
Taddeo was born in Barrancabermeja, Colombia, and immigrated to the United States at age 17 to study business Spanish at the University of North Alabama. After moving to Miami, Taddeo became an entrepreneur with a translation business in 1995.
Her foray into politics began in 2008 when she ran against Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for Florida’s 18th Congressional District. Although he ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, Taddeo lost to Ros-Lehtinen by 58 to 42% of the vote.
Two years later, Taddeo ran for an open seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission and came in third in the non-partisan primary with 21%.
Taddeo remained active in local Democratic politics, and in December 2012 was elected chair of the county Democratic Executive Committee. As county party chair, she organized support for successful Democratic candidates in Miami Beach, Homestead, and other local elections. She also led an effort to have Democrats compete in all local state House races in 2014. In the end, only two of the seats within the county lacked a Democratic candidate that year, the fewest since 1984.
In September 2017, Taddeo was elected in a special election for Florida Senate District 40. The election was called to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Republican Senator Frank Artiles. Taddeo won the primary election against former state representative and Miami-Dade School Board member Ana Rivas Logan by 71 to 29%. Taddeo defeated Republican State Representative Jose Felix Diaz in the general election, 51 to 47%.
Now, Taddeo is the only non-white gubernatorial candidate among the top contenders in a state where Hispanics represent nearly 27% of the population, according to the latest Census Bureau release in 2020, a growth that accounts for nearly 1.5 million new Latinos in the last 10 years. If elected as the Democratic nominee, she would be the first Latina candidate to win the nomination of a major party for governor of Florida.