BREAKING: Democratic state senator launches campaign to become FIRST Latina governor of Florida

A Democratic state senator from Miami announced that she is running for governor in Florida, and if she wins the Democratic nomination, she would be the first Latina in the state to run for governor representing a major party.

State Sen. Annette Taddeo, who had been contemplating running for months, said Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on school mask mandates and threats to sanction school districts that defied the bans led her to decide to run. “Frankly, as a mom with a kid in public school, that was just a nonstarter. I was really flabbergasted,” Taddeo said.

Whoever wins the Democratic primary will face off in the Nov. 8, 2022, general election against the Republican nominee. That is expected to be DeSantis, whose profile has risen nationally in his first term as he has fought lockdowns, school mask mandates and enforcement of vaccinations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Two other Democratic candidates have higher name recognition than Taddeo statewide: U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a former governor, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Crist and Fried are taking turns leading in polls. Taddeo, who was born in Colombia, is popular in her district in Miami.

“Threatening to remove people from office who are duly elected by the people, taking funds away from our taxpayer dollars for our kids’ education, this is the kind of thing we see Maduro in Venezuela do,” Taddeo said about DeSantis, referring to the Venezuelan leader, Nicolás Maduro. “It’s unacceptable in the United States of America, and I’m not going to stand on the sidelines and not fight for us to have a governor that can represent us all and a governor that will actually be worried about Floridians and not primary voters in Iowa.”

Taddeo released a video introducing herself to voters, saying she learned early on what it means to have access to affordable health care after she had 19 operations for a cleft lip. “I am clearly a Latina who has been warning Democrats about the erosion of Democratic support if we didn’t fight back. I’ve been able to create the coalition to win now twice in what is now a Trump district,” Taddeo said.

“I am a lifelong Democrat and very proud of it,” Taddeo said, taking a discreet jab at Crist, who was a Republican when he was governor from 2007 to 2011. “I consider myself a progressive, and my progressive values do not ever leave” [NBC News].

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