Democrats Just win a Big Election in Florida
Florida’s Democratic Party picked up a crucial seat in the Florida Senate Tuesday in a special election triggered months ago by a Miami Republican’s alcohol-fueled tirade at a bar near the state Capitol.
Riding an election-day and early-voting surge, Annette Taddeo topped State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in the race to claim Senate District 40, a southwest Dade seat resigned in the spring by former Sen. Frank Artiles. The victory gives Democrats 16 seats in the chamber and hands Taddeo her first campaign win in a political career filled with second-place finishes.
“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,” Taddeo, who previously lost races for U.S. Congress and as Charlie Christ’s running mate in the 2014 governor’s election, said in a statement. “I pledge to work every day for the families of my community and not the special interests.”
The race was hotly contested due to its significance to both parties.
The seat became open when Artiles was forced to resign in the spring following a tumultuous week in the state Capitol that began with his racist comments to two black lawmakers. Artiles was initially defiant about the incident, but gave up his seat after it became known that the Miami Herald had a story coming that revealed he’d hired apparently unqualified young women — including a former Hooters “calendar girl” — as campaign consultants.