House races

House Dems recruiting ex-lieutenant governor nominee for Florida challenge

House Democrats are actively recruiting former Florida lieutenant governor nominee Annette Taddeo to challenge freshman Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.). 

Taddeo was in D.C. Tuesday and Wednesday meeting with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), DCCC Recruitment Chairman Denny Heck (Wash.), Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Beccera (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), a House Democratic official told The Hill. 

{mosads}While Taddeo was in town, she also met with several other Florida Democratic lawmakers, including Reps. Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel and Kathy Castor, as she weighs a congressional bid. 

Curbelo, who knocked off Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.), in November, is one of House Democrats’ top targets in 2016. President Obama took 53 percent of the vote in 2012 in the Miami-based district, which is made up of 60 percent Hispanic voters. 

But Curbelo already seems to be carving out a centrist profile in the House, particularly on immigration and Hispanic issues. He opposed both GOP amendments to the Department of Homeland Security funding bill on Wednesday. The amendments would halt President Obama’s executive action on deportation of illegal immigrants and stop the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals Program (DACA) program. With both amendments included, he was one of 10 Republicans who voted against the final bill. 

Taddeo’s candidacy would give national Democrats a high-profile Latina candidate with name identification and a fundraising base to mount a challenge against Curbelo, though. Democrats point out that, even though their 2014 ticket, led by former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, lost statewide, the duo carried the 26th District with 52 percent of the vote, a performance they hope will improve in a presidential year. 

It wouldn’t be Taddeo’s first run for Congress, though. The former Miami-Dade Democratic Party chairwoman failed in 2008 in a good year for Democrats against Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). The Colombia native also lost a race for Miami-Dade County Commission two years later.

Tags Annette Taddeo Carlos Curbelo Democratic Party Florida

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