Former Florida GOP Chair Al Cárdenas endorses Annette Taddeo for Congress
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/2/22-Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, urges the Senate to approve her amendment to the bill prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. The amendment failed. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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‘She puts her country and her state above herself.’

Al Cárdenas, a former Chair of the Republican Party of Florida, would rather see Democratic Miami Sen. Annette Taddeo take a seat in the U.S. House than have her incumbent Republican opponent serve another term.

He said it’s the first time in four decades he’s backing a Democrat for Congress.

“It is important to elect Annette Taddeo. I have met her in many of her roles, and I know how she thinks,” he said. “She puts her country and her state above herself. And to me that’s now a precondition to supporting anyone running for office: Is your country more important than your particular career, political career?”

Spanish-language news outlet Diario Las Americas was the first to report on the endorsement. WPLG reporter Glenna Milberg posted a partial video to Twitter of Cárdenas’ remarks, which look to have been recorded at a home gathering.

Cárdenas, a lawyer and investor in private life who immigrated from Cuba to Florida in 1959, has been involved in American politics since the early 1980s. He oversaw the transition of the United States Department of Commerce under Ronald Reagan’s administration. He has also served as a U.S. Ambassador, Chair of the American Conservative Union and was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Republican Party.

In recent years, he has been scathing in his criticism of Donald Trump, calling the former President a “despicable divider” and the “worst social poison afflicting our country in decades.”

That disdain appears to extend to Trump allies like Taddeo’s opponent, U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salzar, a Cuban American former TV journalist who voted against impeaching Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and repeated his lies about widespread voter fraud.

America is facing a “serious” problem unprecedented in his 40 years in politics, Cárdenas said, adding that many people in South Florida — particularly members of its Hispanic communities — must correct their allegiances.

“I know in South Florida and elsewhere about how to behave, and I think a lot of the rhetoric in our Hispanic community of South Florida is way beyond the pale,” he said.

Cárdenas joins others in endorsing Taddeo, such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Lois Frankel, Ruben Galego, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Eric Swalwell, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and myriad organizations and elected officials at the local and state levels.

Taddeo, who is running to unseat Salazar in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, said in a statement that Cárdenas’ support “demonstrates how important it is to restore the dignity and honor” of the CD 27 office.

“From Claude Pepper to Dante Fascell, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Donna Shalala, this seat has always been filled by a leader who has put the interests of the district’s constituents ahead of her party,” she said. “When I am elected this November, I will restore the same type of leadership that has been sorely lacking under the current incumbent.”

The General Election is on Nov. 8. Early voting in Miami-Dade begins Oct. 24 and runs through Nov. 6.

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.


2 comments

  • Tom

    October 5, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    This is good for Salazar, Cardenas and the spouse whale Navarro, are RINO’s and have no street credibility. Only nail follows them!

    Salazar wins 53%.

  • Michael Paris

    October 7, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Al, what happened to ye? That Venezuelan truck stop waitress get to you baby? Anna Navarro is an insult to truck stop waitresses. It must chew gum for you to back Taddeo.

Comments are closed.


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