Top Latino group endorses House candidates in Florida, Hawaii

Associated Press: Wilfredo Lee
Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo speaks during a legislative session, Thursday, April 29, 2021, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Latino Victory Fund on Thursday endorsed two Hispanic House candidates, Patrick Branco in Hawaii and Annette Taddeo in Florida.

“At a time when our democracy, civil rights, and reproductive rights are all on the ballot in November, we can’t give one single inch in congressional races because there’s so much at stake,” said Nathalie Rayes, president and CEO of Latino Victory.

“We’re proud to back two new congressional candidates Patrick Pihana Branco, a young leader and legislator who will further diversify the House; and Annette Taddeo, a proven leader and legislator who has what it takes to win in November,” she added.

Both candidates have also been endorsed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s (CHC) campaign arm, Bold PAC.

Branco, a Democratic Hawaii state representative, was an early entrant in a primary that now includes five other candidates, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.

Branco, the descendant of Puerto Rican migrants to Hawaii, would become the state’s first Hispanic representative if elected.

Taddeo, a Democratic Florida state senator, is a well-known quantity in Florida politics who earlier this month dropped a gubernatorial bid to instead challenge Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R).

Latino Victory had endorsed Taddeo in the gubernatorial race.

After switching to the House race, Taddeo endorsed Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) for governor. Taddeo was Crist’s running mate in 2014, when he lost the governorship to now-Sen. Rick Scott (R).

Taddeo’s challenge of Salazar energized Florida Democrats, who have been on a losing streak as the GOP has consolidated political power in the Sunshine State.

Democrats hope Taddeo will give them a shot at recovering one of the two competitive seats they lost in South Florida in 2020.

Despite being a late entrant into the race, Taddeo holds a commanding lead in the Democratic primary, according to Florida Politics.

“Taddeo and Branco’s races are also key to energizing Florida and Hawaii Latino voters and increasing Latino Democratic representation in the House.  We’re prepared to do everything in our power to keep the U.S. House under Democratic leadership,” said Rayes.

Latino Victory also endorsed a slate of incumbent CHC members: Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), and California Democratic Reps. Jimmy Gomez and Mike Levin.

Updated at 2:18 p.m.

Tags 2022 2022 midterm elections Annette Taddeo Charlie Crist Congressional Hispanic Caucus Election 2022 Florida latino victory fund Maria Elvira Salazar

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