Miami state Sen. Annette Taddeo’s opening salvo for Florida’s 27th Congressional District was a solid one, figures her campaign shared Monday show.
Taddeo’s campaign said that in just 24 days of running for Congress, it amassed more than $460,000 in contributions. Her campaign said that strong financial showing, coupled with a pair of encouraging internal polls, should make her the presumptive Democratic front-runner in the race.
“Miami voters are ready for change and they are ready for Annette Taddeo,” said Jennifer Khosla, Taddeo’s finance director, in a statement. “If our first 24 days are any indication, we’re going to have the resources necessary to take our message to every corner of this district and flip this seat in November.”
Taddeo’s gains last month represent all-new donations. None of the funds she collected during her run for Governor, which she canceled June 6, is legally transferable to her federal account or usable in the race for CD 27.
“All the dollars on the federal side are brand-new dollars,” said Nick Merlino, her campaign manager.
Merlino told Florida Politics what remains of the more than $925,000 Taddeo raised while running for Governor will be offered back to donors for a refund or donated. The portion donated to her state political committee, Fight Back Florida, may stay there.
Taddeo is running to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar. But she must first win an Aug. 23 Primary against Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell and grassroots candidate Angel Montalvo.
Two polls her campaign released late last month indicate she will enjoy strong support from likely voters. The first, by Sarasota-based SEA Polling & Strategic Design, found that Taddeo enjoyed a 36-percentage-point edge against Russell and a 50-percentage-point lead over Montalvo before voters learned more about each candidate.
After reading “positive, biographical statements” about the candidates, the share of undecided Democratic voters fell from 33% to 8%, with all but 5% of the newly decided voters siding with Taddeo in the contest.
Another poll SEA conducted in May showed Taddeo in a virtual tie with Salazar, with the incumbent leading her 47%-45%, well within the five-point margin of error.
Taddeo also has secured backing from her party at the national level. On June 14, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it had added her to its Red to Blue program, which “equips top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to run strong campaigns.”
In its initial list of candidates published in March, the group said the “highly competitive” program is reserved for Democrats who hit “significant benchmarks related to overall campaign infrastructure, fundraising, and on-the-ground engagement.”
For his part, Russell’s campaign in May published its own internal polling that showed he and Salazar are in a dead heat for the CD 27 seat. Those figures came before Taddeo entered the race.
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.
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.
Candidates face a Friday deadline to report all financial activity in the second quarter of 2022.