Annette Taddeo is the clear choice for Florida Democrats (FDP) Chair. Her candidacy has excited many around the state and united the grassroots in a manner we haven’t seen around prior chair races, which have been contentious and divided the activist community.
In the past, we’ve opted not to make endorsements in Chair’s Races, but with Florida Democrats in a tailspin of epic proportions, we feel compelled this go-round to speak up with a decisive voice.
Taddeo has unparalleled experience in this race – as a small business owner, a former party chair in the state’s most populated county, a State Senator and a fighter for progressive causes in the legislature. At a time when Florida Democrats’ message is muddled and issues like healthcare and cost of living need to be brought to the forefront as Ron DeSantis’ authoritarianism is countered, Taddeo is the best choice. She also can work to rebuild the party’s crumbling infrastructure while helping to build a clear plan for Latino outreach – something that has been badly lacking in this party for almost a decade.
Carolina Ampudia, the past Chair of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, Rick Hoye, Chairman of the Broward County Democratic Executive Committee, Alex Berrios, a consultant with party-ties from Palm Beach County all are also running. We like Ampudia a great deal and under different circumstances would love to see someone of her profile and ideological zeal in the job. Hoye also represents potential change and we hope he will continue his work in Broward County to advance that party, in Florida’s second most populated county. Hoye could be a good state chair in the future.
But these are deadly serious times, which require someone who can run a party administratively, understand policy, and raise money. Taddeo has done all of this in the past and is the best choice at the critical juncture for the future.
Our concerns also relate to a new entrant to the race, former Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Fried is being pushed by a small cabal of insiders that seek to maintain their status in an undemocratic structure, which needs to be seriously reformed. Fried’s own associations with prominent GOP officeholders of past and present, big business, Associated Industries of Florida, Big Sugar and Florida Power & Light are troubling, and will be among the subjects of our coverage about the race, going forward.
Last year, Florida’s Democrats roundly rejected Fried’s candidacy for Governor, despite a late flurry of media buys, bankrolled by malign, GOP-aligned interests who were seeking to damage the Democratic Party and former Governor Charlie Crist. Fried was beaten so decisively, that even in her home county of Broward, she lost to Crist by over 30 percentage points.
Unlike Fried, Taddeo is a lifelong Democrat that has never sued the Biden Administration, which Fried did in a shameless publicity stunt, last year. Taddeo’s voting record in the Senate was among the best in her tenure as she used her perch to promote the interests of working class Floridians. The contrast between Taddeo and Fried could not be clearer, and we at TFS welcome this discussion as it puts a full light on where the party needs to go versus where it cannot go, if it seeks to be a competitive opposition option to Florida’s authoritarian drift under Ron DeSantis.
In fact, this publication was avoiding discussion of the FDP Chair’s Race in recent weeks, choosing to focus on Black History Month or other Florida issues, because it felt for once Democrats were logically uniting and moving forward with an energy from activists at grassroots level.
Alas, that wasn’t the case, as the insider cabal, which is more concerned with personal status and continued access to “power” in the party, than the success of Democratic candidates or the values the party ostensibly stands for had a card left to play – running Nikki Fried for Chair. This effort must be beat back. The stakes could not be higher at this critical juncture.
We strongly urge all stakeholders in party and activist circles to support Annette Taddeo as Florida Democrats Chair.
So sorry to hear that, but I’m not surprised. Nikki will win and AT will just add one more loss to her list.
Trash article. Annette is NOT the clear choice. We need CHANGE. Not another losing candidate who has alienated the left, and taken money from corporations we are fighting against.
Super disappointing that you won’t endorse the candidate who has the support of actual people who have worked super hard for this party, instead of taking the lazy route and just calling in favors for generic endorsements from other electeds.
Mark my words- if Annette or Nikki win, the entire party loses… but that seems to be the status quo at this point.
The truth if you have the courage to publish it.
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