Taddeo Drops Out of Gubernatorial Race to Challenge Salazar in Florida’s 27th Congressional District

by Bethany Blankley


State Sen. Annette Taddeo, who was running in the Democratic primary for Florida governor, is dropping out of that race Monday and is instead running for Congress.

Taddeo is now running in Florida’s 27th Congressional District against incumbent and freshman Republican Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar.

Taddeo’s gubernatorial campaign website and social media pages have been changed to say she’s now running in the 27th District to “flip it blue.”

The 27th Congressional District includes the city of Miami and communities south of it, including Miami Beach and the Cuban American neighborhood of Little Havana.

She joins Democrat Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, who’s already running against Salazar.

Salazar, a five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist from Miami, won the seat in 2020. She ousted incumbent Democrat Donna Shalala in a district that voted for President Joe Biden.

Taddeo told the Miami Herald that her decision to drop out of the governor’s race was a result of “a combination of a lot of things.”

“There’s a definite need, there’s a definite void,” she said. “I think we’re going to give Miamians the opportunity to have a real representative who will be upfront with them.”

Taddeo launched her campaign for governor last October but was hampered by state law prohibiting her as a state legislator from raising money while the legislature was in session. She frequently blamed Gov. Ron DeSantis for her inability to raise money every time he called a special legislative session. This year, the legislature convened for a regular session and four special sessions.

Her gubernatorial opponents in the Democratic primary, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, weren’t subject to the same restrictions and had also far outraised her.

Crist said in a statement that Taddeo was “a tireless public servant and fearless advocate for working Floridians across the Sunshine State and in South Florida.” He also wished “her nothing but the best as she embarks on her run for Congress.”

Fried also supported Taddeo’s decision to run for Congess, but took the opportunity to attack Crist in her statement, calling him “a three-time statewide loser and self-described ‘pro-life’ former Republican.” The pair have increasingly upped their personal attacks in their bid to challenge DeSantis in November.

DeSantis has far outraised them both and is leading in several polls.

Russell issued a statement saying he was “the right candidate to take on the country’s most vulnerable GOP freshman” and would “continue to focus on the number one goal in this race – unseating María Elvira Salazar, who has failed to deliver any results for her constituents.”

Taddeo told CBS News Miami that the congressional seat “has always been represented regardless of party by someone that would bring everyone together … to work across the aisle, to get things done. And what we’ve had, frankly, is a demagogue, a liar and an embarrassment and someone that has not even voted in the best interests of our community.”

Salazar, whose campaign hasn’t yet issued a statement on Taddeo entering the race, told CBS Miami in response to the direct criticism, “Taddeo can say anything she wants … I’ve heard that and a lot more.”

The primary election is Aug. 23.

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Bethany Blankley is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “Annette Taddeo” by Annette Taddeo. 





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