Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo announces bid to be Florida’s first Latina governor

ORLANDO, Fla – Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo is entering the race for governor, becoming the latest high-profile Democrat to mount a challenge to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). 

Taddeo has long been expected to jump into the Florida governor’s race. Earlier this month, she announced that her political committee was hiring several consultants in a sign that she was preparing for something more than a reelection campaign for her state Senate seat.

She made it official during a news conference in Tallahassee on Monday morning. If she wins her bid, Taddeo would become Florida’s first Latina governor.  

With her announcement on Monday, Taddeo joins state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. She also has a history with Crist; Taddeo served as his running mate during his 2014 bid for governor.

Fried and Crist have already been campaigning — and fundraising — for months, giving them a leg-up on their newest rival. And because Taddeo is still a sitting state senator, she’ll be unable to raise money for her political committee once the legislative session starts in January.

Still, Taddeo, a Miami-Dade Democrat who was born in Colombia, enters the race with a distinct advantage. One ally of Taddeo argued that she will be able to appeal to Latinos in South and Central Florida, an influential voting bloc in the state that Republicans made gains with in 2020.

Taddeo has also been critical of her party’s outreach to Latino voters, blaming Democrats for waiting too long to invest in outreach efforts and for failing to more forcibly push back on Republican allegations of socialism — a talking point that was front and center in Florida last year.

Defeating DeSantis next year after a primary win would present an entirely different challenge.

The incumbent governor and rising Republican star has built a fundraising juggernaut and has so far amassed $53 million, far more than anything his Democratic rivals have at their disposal. 

Tags 2022 midterm elections Annette Taddeo Charlie Crist Florida Florida governor's race Florida politics Nikki Fried Ron DeSantis

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