‘Clear record of excellence and leadership’: Steny Hoyer, Ruben Gallego endorse Annette Taddeo
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/3/22-Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, speaks during the farewell ceremony for Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, Thursday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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‘I am confident that she will be able to flip this critical seat back to Democrats in November.’

Miami state Sen. Annette Taddeo is less than a week into her campaign for Florida’s 27th Congressional District, and she’s already garnered support from six members of Congress, one former member and a major labor union.

On Friday, her campaign announced endorsements from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona.

Hoyer said in a statement that Taddeo has demonstrated “tenacity, compassion, and unwavering commitment to South Florida’s communities” in her “clear record of excellence and leadership” in the Florida Legislature.

“I am confident that she will be able to flip this critical seat back to Democrats in November,” he said. “Once she is elected, I know Annette will be ready from Day 1 to legislate effectively on behalf of her constituents and deliver results so they can get ahead.”

Gallego, a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran who has represented Arizona’s 7th Congressional District since 2015, said Taddeo will deftly serve CD 27, one of the nation’s most diverse districts.

“(As) a Latina, Sen. Taddeo doesn’t just speak the language; she also speaks the cultural nuances of the community she will represent,” he said in a statement. “Her story of coming to this country alone at the age of 17, fleeing violence, is relatable to so many people in the community, (and) I look forward to welcoming her to the Hispanic Caucus in the 118th Congress and fighting for the American people every day alongside her.”

Taddeo confirmed Monday she was dropping her prior bid for Governor to instead run to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar. She cited recent mass shootings across the country and a conversation she had with her daughter, who goes to school in Miami-Dade County, as key in that decision.

“We are at a pivotal moment in our country, and we desperately need leadership in Washington that can be trusted to put politics aside for the best interest of Miamians,” she said at the time.

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

U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Lois Frankel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Congresswoman Donna Shalala similarly threw their support Taddeo’s way.

“Annette Taddeo has the fighting spirit that Florida needs in Congress,” Castor said in a statement. “She is living proof that the American Dream is alive and well in Florida and for 30 years she has run a successful small business in the South Florida community. In Congress, she will work every day to make it easier for Floridians to live out their American dream.”

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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