Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo, Charlie Crist's former running mate, announces run for governor

Taddeo joins U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, Agriculture Secretary Nikki Fried seeking Democratic nomination
Florida State Sen. Annette Taddeo
Posted at 6:24 AM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 12:23:51-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The race to become Florida's Democratic nominee for governor is growing.

Florida State Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, announced her candidacy during a Monday morning news conference in Tallahassee.

Taddeo currently represents portions of Miami-Dade County. She has been in the Florida Senate since 2016.

Sen. Annette Taddeo seeks to become Florida's first woman governor

"I believe we can inspire Floridians to raise their sights and elect a Governor to represent all Floridians," Taddeo said in a video released Monday. "I am a life-long Democrat and I am running for Governor because Florida, I believe in us. With our fighting spirit, there is no limit to how high or how far we can fly."

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who was governor from 2007 to 2011, and Florida Agriculture Secretary Nikki Fried are also running in the 2022 primary.

The winner will face Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said he was running for re-election earlier this month.

Taddeo was Crist's running mate when he ran for governor in 2014, but they lost to Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera in the general election.

State Sen. Annette Taddeo announces run for governor

During Monday's announcement, she addressed why she is now running against Crist.

"I actually have tremendous respect for Charlie. I love Charlie, and I know he has a huge heart, but this race is not about Charlie or about me," Taddeo said. "This race is about the future Floridians and who is going to be the best person to create the coalition and to create the excitement from the ground up for us to win in Florida."

Speaking about DeSantis' policy of taking funding away from school districts that impose mask mandates, she said it was akin to a policy that socialist Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro would enact.

"This governor is currently behaving more like the people we cry foul against," Taddeo said. "Those are the places, [like Venezuela], where you take the funding away. Those are the places where you threaten to remove people from their duly-elected office."

She criticized DeSantis for this tactic, saying his only motive was to appeal to Republican voters in other parts of the U.S., instead of focusing on governing for residents of Florida.

No woman has ever served as the governor of Florida.