In an unusually early announcement, likely Democratic nominee for governor Charlie Crist has named Miami businesswoman Annette Taddeo as his running mate.
Taddeo, who’s of Columbian and Italian extraction, could help Crist in several ways: She brings an Hispanic flavor and appeal to women to the ticket, as well as providing Crist with a South Florida ally against former state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston, who’s challenging him in a Democratic primary.
Announcing his choice in a Miami news conference this morning, Crist strongly emphasized that Taddeo is a working mother.
to South Florida psychologist Eric Goldstein, Taddeo has gone by the hyphenated name Annette Taddeo-Goldstein in the past. News releases from the Crist campaign, however, use only her Hispanic maiden name.
According to an announcement from the campaign, Taddeo is founder and CEO of LanguageSpeak, a language translation services company in business for nearly 20 years.
Taddeo is also a long-time Democratic fundraiser and party activist who was involved in the Obama and Kerry presidential campaigns, and is Miami-Dade County Democratic Party chairwoman,
She has been chairwoman of the Women’s Enterprise National Council’s Leadership Forum and the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County, and now serves on the board of the bipartisan Women’s Campaign Fund.
In 2012 Taddeo ran briefly for chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, but then dropped out of the race and supported winning candidate Allison Tant.
In 2008, she ran unsuccessfully against Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in a Republican-leaning district, and she ran unsuccessfully for a Miami-Dade county commissioner’s seat in 2010.
Taddeo has two college-age stepdaughters and one young daughter with her husband.
Crist news releases quoted him as calling Taddeo “a remarkable woman and a classic American success story.
“She will make an excellent lieutenant governor because as a working mom she knows Florida families are struggling to pay their bills, raise their kids, and save for retirement – and because she believes, as I do, that all Floridians deserve a fair shot at success.”
Taddeo said “as a working mom and a small businesswoman,” she is “thrilled to serve with a man who has always fought for Florida’s middle class families.
“We deserve a governor who understands the struggle our families and seniors are facing and works every day to make our lives better – not harder.”