Florida has a Hispanic population of roughly 4.3 million, which is about 23% of the state’s population (8.4% of the entire country’s Hispanic population). About 51% of the Hispanics in Florida were born in the Sunshine State and about 1,000 people move to Florida each day, but many more could soon be relocating there from other parts of the United States.
The reason? Because Annette Taddeo is now the first Latina Democrat in Florida State Senate.
According to NBC News, Taddeo recently won this legislative seat that has been primarily held by Republicans and now shifts the political alliances to Florida Latinos.
Taddeo was born in Colombia and will now represent all of Florida, including Latinos, from her seat in the State Senate. She defeated Republican Jose Felix Diaz.
Diaz and President Donald Trump knew each prior to both of their political careers. Diaz was a former contestant on The Apprentice, the reality TV show that starred Trump before his career shift.
“The voters of SD-40 (Senate District 40) recognized Annette Taddeo’s longstanding commitment to her community and deep understanding of the challenges facing working families across South Florida,” said Cristobal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Fund, which provides aid to progressive Latino candidates.
The Miami Herald reports that the victory gives Democrats 16 total seats in the chamber and is Taddeo’s first campaign win of her career.
“The voters wanted a champion in Tallahassee who will fight for higher paying jobs, affordable healthcare and fully funded public schools and I am honored and humbled that they have placed their faith and trust in me,” said Taddeo. “I pledge to work every day for the families of my community and not the special interests.”
Taddeo had campaigned for Congress twice but was unsuccessful. Also, during 2014, she was running mate to Charlie Crist in his failed bid for Florida governor.
“She’s a Hispanic candidate immersed in her culture who understands that Latino voters need to be engaged with at the community level — at our restaurants, small businesses, community events,” added Mayra Macias, Latino Victory Fund political director.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Democrats across the United States were celebrating Taddeo’s victory, as well.
“This crucial win tonight is a great representation of Democrats’ winning momentum and increased engagement in the Trump era,” said Jessica Post, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director.