Miami state Sen. Annette Taddeo is just over a week into her campaign for Florida’s 27th Congressional District, but she’s already received a priority pass from Democrats in the U.S. House.
On Tuesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the addition of Taddeo to its competitive Red to Blue program, which “equips top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to run strong campaigns.”
The DCCC in March debuted its initial list of candidates in the Red to Blue program for the 2022 cycle, noting that the “highly competitive” category is reserved for candidates who hit “significant benchmarks related to overall campaign infrastructure, fundraising, and on-the-ground engagement.”
Taddeo is the 15th candidate in the program and the first from Florida.
This year, she hopes to face incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar, who edged out Donna Shalala by 2 percentage points in 2020 to flip CD 27 red. Experts consider the district to be the most closely divided in the state and among the most competitive in the nation.
That’s why it’s imperative for the DCCC to back Taddeo against Salazar, who “stands with insurrectionists and anti-choice extremists,” DCCC personnel asserted.
DCCC spokesperson Nebeyatt Betre said the choice this election should be clear for CD 27 voters.
“Rep. Salazar has delivered nothing but out-of-touch representation to keep her extreme Washington bosses happy at the expense of hardworking Floridians,” she said. “Taddeo is ready to bring her effective and commonsense leadership to Congress when she flips this seat from red to blue this November.”
Republicans only have to win a handful of additional seats to erase the minuscule majority Democrats hold in the U.S. House. However, Democrats can also grow their advantage by flipping red seats blue this Midterm. That’s the sole goal of the inaugural Red to Blue program.
“It’s mostly about defense,” DCCC Executive Director Tim Perisco told POLITICO in March. “But it’s important to play offense.”
She’s since been racking up endorsements, including from U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and a Monday nod from the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The shift to CD 27 pits Taddeo against Democratic Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, who switched from a run at the U.S. Senate in early May to avoid running against U.S. Rep. Val Demings. Russell has vowed to continue running in the district, citing his “record of accomplishment for the community” as proof he deserves the Democratic nomination.
Other candidates in the race include “100% grassroots” Democrat Angel Montalvo, Republican Frank Polo and no-party candidate Ian Anthony Medina.
CD 27 covers a large portion of Miami-Dade County, including the municipalities of 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.
Florida’s Primary Elections take place Aug. 23. The General Election is on Nov. 8.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to correctly state the date Taddeo dropped her bid for Governor.