‘End the chaos’: Ashley Gantt, Annette Taddeo back Lucia Báez-Geller for Congress
Image via Lucia Baez-Geller.

Lucia Baez-Geller
‘(She is) uniquely qualified to fight for us in Washington.’

Add two more Democratic women to the list of South Florida politicians who want to see Miami-Dade County School Board member Lucia Báez-Geller take Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

State Rep. Ashley Gantt and former state Sen. Annette Taddeo, both of Miami, are backing Báez-Geller’s bid to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvia Salazar in November.

Taddeo, who challenged Salazar in 2022 and is now running for Miami-Dade Clerk, called Báez-Geller “a tireless fighter” for the community whom she is honored to endorse.

“Her many years of dedication to our students, and her passion fighting for the future of our community in the School Board, makes her uniquely qualified to fight for us in Washington,” Taddeo said in a statement. “I’m excited to back Lucia Báez-Geller to end the chaos in D.C., and bring real leadership to South Florida.”

Gantt, a lawyer and former school teacher serving in her first House term, said in a statement that she “couldn’t be more excited to support” Báez-Geller for Congress.

“She has shown that she can win tough fights, fearlessly advocate for Floridians, and we need a Congresswoman who will focus on real solutions for South Florida,” Gantt said. “I urge the voters of Florida-27 to join me in supporting Lucia.”

The nods from Gantt and Taddeo join others from former Democratic U.S. Reps. Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who is running for Republican Rick Scott’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

Báez-Geller is the first Democrat to run this election cycle for the seat Salazar took from Shalala in 2020, the same year Báez-Geller won her District 3 seat on the county School Board.

She came to the School Board seat after teaching English for 15 years at Miami Beach Senior High, during which she worked with several teachers’ unions and earned “Political Advocate of the Year” honors from the National Education Association.

In the past three years, she has distinguished herself as the School Board’s most progressive member, an increasingly taxing title to hold as Gov. Ron DeSantis and the GOP-dominated state Legislature enacted censorious new policies to counter so-called “woke indoctrination.”

Like Salazar, Báez-Geller is the daughter of Latin American expatriates who fled to South Florida to escape communist regimes. Báez-Geller was born to a Cuban father and a Colombian mother. Both of Salazar’s parents were Cuban exiles.

In a statement, Báez-Geller said she is “thrilled” that her campaign is “gaining momentum with more significant endorsements.”

“I am running to bring real solutions to working families in South Florida,” she said.

“As a Cuban-Colombian who has spent my career helping our students and their families, I know first-hand that our community needs leaders who put people over politics. Maria Elvira Salazar voted against critical funds for this district and still presents checks for a photo-op. We will call her out and give voters a real choice this November. I’m thankful that Democratic leaders are coalescing behind my campaign. Together, we will win and bring real change to FL-27.”

Republicans Frank Polo and Lara Royland are also running.

CD 27 covers Miami, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Key Biscayne, Pinecrest, North Bay Village, South Miami, West Miami and several unincorporated neighborhoods.

The Primary Election is on Aug. 20, followed by the General Election on Nov. 5.

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.

One comment

  • Phil Morton

    February 24, 2024 at 4:52 pm

    I like Lucia Báez-Geller but you might have mentioned that Mike Davey is also running.

Comments are closed.


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