Skeptics might say Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo is not well-known enough outside of South Florida to get elected Governor, but she’s promising to make an appearance in every one of the state’s 67 counties.
The Taddeo for Governor campaign on Monday announced she will be hitting the road in a recreational vehicle like the one she once lived in, to drive home the point that she serves all of Florida.
Taddeo invoked the last Democrat to be elected to the Governor’s Mansion more than 30 years ago as her inspiration. Lawton Chiles was a relative unknown when he decided to run for U.S. Senate in 1970 and embarked on a 91-day, 1,000-mile walk from the town of Century near Pensacola to Key Largo, earning him the nickname “Walkin’ Lawton.”
“We are going to go to every corner of the state,” Taddeo said, according to a news release from her campaign. “Democrats can’t wait until August to begin campaigning for November and I’m going to tell our story and vision to all 67 counties.”
She will talk about how she’s already beat the odds, campaign officials said. Her family, newcomers from Colombia, once called an RV home, settling here after being terrorized by Marxist terrorists in their native country. She earned a college degree despite limited English skills and started her own successful business in the midst of Hurricane Andrew’s wreckage.
Her gubernatorial bid is certainly an uphill battle. She’s never won statewide office like the two Democrats she must get by in the Democratic Primary: former Gov. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. And the current incumbent, Gov. Ron DeSantis, has a national profile with a fundraising behemoth.
But Taddeo, who was once Crist’s running mate as his Lieutenant Governor pick in 2014, said her story of unlikely success fits the moment.
It’s “a story of a mother with a daughter in public school who went on to flip a seat from red to blue, in a (state Senate) district Trump won, twice — the American dream personified and now running to be Florida’s next Governor,” Taddeo says in the news release.
Starting dates for Taddeo’s RV tour events will be announced in the coming weeks, taking the recent COVID-19 surges into account. They will all be outdoors and held in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the campaign said.