Politics

Annette Taddeo, Crist's Running Mate, Set to Challenge Rep. Carlos Curbelo

Annette Taddeo seemingly has all the elements of a successful Miami political candidate: a compelling immigrant narrative, a self-made business-success tale, a charismatic presence fluent in Spanish and English. Yet so far, Taddeo has come up short in bids for U.S. Congress, the Miami-Dade County Commission, and last year as Charlie Crist's running mate.

Taddeo will give candidacy another shot, though. She'll announce next week her plans to challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo in District 26, Democratic sources confirm to New Times. Considering the seat is one of the biggest swing districts in the nation — and a place she and Crist beat Gov. Rick Scott by a healthy margin — she seems to have a decent shot.  

Taddeo is expected to announce her bid Monday, sources say. (The news was first reported by Marc Caputo's Florida Playbook.)   

She'll take on a rising star in the GOP. Curbelo, a former Miami-Dade County School Board member, was tapped to give the Spanish-language rebuttal to President Obama's latest State of the Union. (Though he was criticized for basically rereading an exact translation of Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst's English-language response.) 
Curbelo raised a healthy $2.3 million to topple Joe Garcia, the Democrat who had beaten scandal-tarred Republican David Rivera. Sensing a pattern here? District 26, which covers the southern reaches of Miami-Dade and all of the Florida Keys, is a deeply purple electorate. Crist and Taddeo, in fact, beat Scott in the district by about 7,000 votes.


"That seat feels like a rental for Curbelo," a veteran Democratic campaign consultant tells New Times. "I'm a big Annette fan, personally."

Taddeo will lean on her compelling personal tale — she immigrated to the U.S. from her native Colombia when she was 17 and then founded LanguageSpeak, a successful translation firm. 
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink