The Phoenix Flyer

Annette Taddeo builds support in her bid for FL Democratic Party chair

By: - January 26, 2023 3:09 pm

Sen. Annette Taddeo rallies against anti-abortion legislation. Sept. 21, 2021. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

Former Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo unveiled endorsements today from nine of her former colleagues in the Florida Senate Democratic Caucus, in her bid for chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

The list of Democrats backing her include current Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, as well as Sens. Jason Pizzo, Lori Berman, Tracie Davis, Tina Polsky, Darryl Rouson, Linda Stewart, Geraldine Thompson and Victor Torres. Those are mostly South Florida and Central Florida Senate districts.

Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz announced earlier this month that he was resigning from office, following one of the worst elections in Florida’s modern history. The resignation launched a race for the next chair.

“From successfully leading the Miami-Dade Democratic Party from 2012-2014, to being a part of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign when we expanded turnout in Miami-Dade County and won the Hispanic vote, to becoming the first Latina Democrat elected to the Florida Senate when I flipped a GOP seat in my 2017 special election and serving in the Florida Senate for five years, I understand what it will take to create a fully functional state party,” Taddeo said in a written statement.

“That’s why I am humbled to have the support of Florida Senate Democrats right out of the gate. They know I will never back away from a fight, and together we will work to create a fully functional FDP that can better support our Democratic legislators in Tallahassee to push back against the GOP’s divisive legislative agenda to elect more Democrats to the Florida Legislature.”

In the November elections, the lack of enthusiasm by Democratic voters not only resulted in losses for governor, U.S. Senate and all of the Cabinet positions, but several county commissions in the state flipped from blue to red.

And for the first time ever in Florida, Democrats trail behind Republicans in registered voters.

Taddeo’s former colleagues say she is the candidate who can bring the party back.

“As Democrats work to rebuild our state party, we need a steady hand at the helm that will help bring together grassroots activists, volunteers, elected officials, and donors,” said Thompson. “I believe Annette is the leader who can bring us together to build a more organized Florida Democratic Party that can deliver results for all Floridians.”

“Having worked alongside Annette, I can confidently say she is the best person for this job and I look forward to working alongside her to help rebuild what has been lost, so that Democrats can effectively defend the rights and freedoms of Floridians across the state,” said Book.

Broward County Democratic Party Chair Rick Hoye and political consultant Alex Berrios are the other two announced candidates in the race. The election for Florida Democratic Party chair is set for Feb. 25 in Orlando.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.