‘A tireless fighter’: Annette Taddeo welcomes first wave of endorsements for U.S. House bid

Taddeo (1)
‘She knows how to reach across the aisle, put politics aside, and make sure South Florida’s hard-working families come first.’

Miami Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo is less than a day into her campaign for Congress, but she’s already received four endorsements — three from current and former U.S. House members and one from a major labor union.

Taddeo confirmed late Monday afternoon she was dropping out of the Governor’s race and would instead run to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar in Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

Within hours, she received an endorsement from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents some 15,000 workers across various industries in Florida and more than 700,000 members nationally.

Then on Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, Lois Frankel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and former U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, similarly threw their support Taddeo’s way.

Christopher Walterson, president of CWA Local 3122, called Taddeo “a tireless fighter for the working class” and someone who has protested alongside workers.

“She has walked pickets with us, she has helped us pressure anti-union legislators, she has saved countless union jobs from her time in Tallahassee standing up against union busting,” he said in a statement. “Annette always puts working people first. She will be a great Congresswoman for our members.”

Curtis Hierro, the legislative and political lead for CWA in Florida, described Taddeo’s run at Washington as “a priority race” for the organization.

“We are going to mobilize every CWA member and retiree in the district to vote in the Primary and vote in the General Election for one of the most pro-union political leaders we have in this state, Annette Taddeo,” he said.

Crist, who until Monday was one of Taddeo’s several Democratic gubernatorial opponents, said there is “no better leader” for the critical CD 27 race than Taddeo.

“The people of Florida’s 27th Congressional District deserve a leader in Congress who shares their values and beliefs, and who will fight for them tooth and nail in the halls of Congress – I have no doubt that leader is Annette Taddeo,” he said. “Annette is a trusted and battle tested public servant who will never relent in the fight for what’s right. From Kendall to Key Biscayne, Annette will make sure your voice is heard and that South Florida’s working families have a champion in Washington.”

Wasserman Schultz, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee who has represented South Florida in Congress since 2004, said Taddeo “will work hard every day to faithfully represent (the) diverse district” of CD 27.

“I could not have a better ally than Sen. Taddeo to stand with in Congress to take on Big Pharma, the NRA and those who refuse to fight for lower health, energy and prescription drug costs,” she said in a statement. “She knows how to reach across the aisle, put politics aside, and make sure South Florida’s hardworking families come first.”

Frankel said South Florida needs Taddeo’s experience and voice in Washington.

“She stands up and fights for the most vulnerable people in our communities,” she said. “As a mom and small business owner, she understands the affordability crisis affecting Miami. Her experience as a state Senator has prepared her to be effective Day 1 as a member of Congress.”

Shalala, who represented CD 27 until she lost a rematch against Salazar in 2020, described Taddeo as the ideal person to hold her former seat.

“Annette will be a Congresswoman that will represent everyone and deliver on Day 1,” she said. “Her life is the embodiment of the American Dream. When FARC terrorists kidnapped her father, she fled here as a teenager alone, working her way through college, earned a degree, started a successful small business, and raised a family here in South Florida.

“I cannot imagine a better person to represent our community in Congress.”

While Taddeo’s ultimate goal this election cycle is to defeat Salazar in the General Election, she must first win a Primary contest against Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, whose campaign has collected several union endorsements, and Angel Montalvo, a self-described “unapologetically progressive” candidate who is running a 100% grassroots campaign.

Other candidates in the race include Republican Frank Polo, who filed to run in late January, and no-party candidate Ian Anthony Medina. Neither has reported any campaign finance activity.

CD 27 covers a large portion of Miami-Dade County, including Miami, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, North Bay Village, South Miami, West Miami and the unincorporated neighborhoods of Coral Terrace, Fisher Island, Glenvar Heights, Kendall, Olympia Heights, Richmond Heights, Sunset, The Crossings, Three Lakes, Westchester and Westwood Lakes.

Analyses of the district, as redrawn by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, show it being safer than before for Republicans but still the most closely divided congressional district in Florida.

It’s also 74% Hispanic, the highest percentage for the voting-age population anywhere in the state.

During her campaign for Governor, Taddeo, a Colombian American, emphasized her bipartisan appeal and record of good performance with South Florida’s Hispanic voters.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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