MIAMI — With races for governor and the U.S. Senate getting most of the nationwide consideration in Florida earlier than the midterm elections subsequent week, the closest race within the state could also be that of a Democratic state senator who’s attempting to unseat a Republican Home incumbent.
If state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Colombian American, does beat Rep. María Elvira Salazar, who’s Cuban American, it may give Democrats hope of doing properly elsewhere on the poll, particularly with the state’s prime spots anticipated to stay in Republican fingers.
The GOP, particularly in South Florida, is attempting to painting Democrats as “socialists” and comfortable on international coverage, with Taddeo touting her hard-line stance in opposition to leftist governments. Certainly one of her mailers states, “I escaped Marxist terrorists funded by the Cuban regime in Colombia,” referring to her father’s kidnapping and eventual launch by Colombian leftist rebels.
Florida’s twenty seventh Congressional District is over 70% Hispanic and was redrawn in a approach that makes it safer for Republicans.
Salazar and Taddeo have related hard-line international positions in opposition to the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. In her first time period in Congress, Salazar has made social media movies denouncing these governments and has criticized a few of President Joe Biden’s insurance policies within the area. Taddeo, in keeping with a spokesperson, feels present international coverage towards Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua can not change till there are democratic transitions in these international locations.
Taddeo criticized the Biden administration for eradicating the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a former Marxist insurgent group, from the listing of international terrorist organizations after historic peace negotiations.
A former Colombian president takes middle stage
With numerous Colombians within the district who overwhelmingly oppose left-wing politicians, the nation’s center-right ex-president has turn out to be a focus for each the Taddeo and Salazar campaigns. There are about 275,000 Colombian eligible voters in Florida and a big quantity reside within the district. Whereas Colombians lean Republican, some discover it interesting to vote for somebody from their dwelling nation, no matter occasion. Taddeo, who was born in Colombia, says she could be the primary Jewish Latina in Congress.
The 2 candidates just lately left many puzzled once they tweeted that former Colombian President Iván Duque seemingly helps each of them.
However there’s a historical past of conservative Colombian politicians endorsing Republican candidates within the U.S., one thing Democrats have strongly criticized.
The first tweet got here from Taddeo with a video of Duque talking at an occasion over summer season. Taddeo quoted a few of what he stated: “I at all times really feel so pleased with how Colombian Individuals have achieved a lot in U.S. politics & I do know we’re gonna get fairly quickly to Capitol Hill.”
She added on the backside. “On November 8 I’ll be the primary Colombian elected to Congress.”
Then Salazar tweeted an image of her and Duque shaking fingers and wrote in Spanish, “Thanks President @IvanDuque to your help!”
Taddeo once more tweeted a special video of Duque talking at one other occasion saying, “We actually look ahead to seeing extra Colombian Individuals fairly quickly stepping into Capitol Hill.”
The tweets raised eyebrows after a backlash by Democrats in 2020 when two conservative Colombian senators, from Duque’s occasion, made social media movies endorsing then-President Donald Trump. Juan David Vélez, a former congressman in Colombia who represented Colombians residing overseas till just lately and is a U.S. citizen, endorsed Salazar in 2020 whereas he was in workplace and is supporting her now as properly.
Former right-wing President Alvaro Uribe additionally endorsed Trump and Salazar in 2020.
The present president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, a leftist ex-guerrilla member, took warmth as properly when, as a senator in 2020, he acknowledged in an interview that if he may, he would vote for Joe Biden. That prompted Biden’s present senior director for the Western Hemisphere on the Nationwide Safety Council to answer in a tweet in Spanish to thoughts his personal enterprise, “as a result of nobody right here is involved in your opinion.”
U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., and Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who’s of Colombian descent, criticized the endorsements, saying Colombian politicians shouldn’t take sides in U.S. elections.
In an interview with NBC Information, Taddeo stated that after an advert launched by a conservative group referred to as her a “Petrista” — a follower of Petro — she reached out to her “buddy” Duque and had a dialog about what was occurring.
“The explanation why I referred to as him is as a result of I wished to place out a video that I had of his final go to as president to Miami once I was already within the race,” stated Taddeo, including there have been two occasions the place he spoke about her.
Taddeo stated she requested Duque for permission to make use of the video and didn’t ask him for an endorsement as a result of that might be “inappropriate.”
She stated Duque replied, “In fact Anette, I meant what I stated. I believe it might be nice to have a Colombian American in Congress and please be at liberty to put up it.”
Salazar’s workplace didn’t reply to an interview request.
For 3 many years, the district was held by a Republican and the primary Latina elected to Congress, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Democrat Donna Shalala received in 2018 and two years later it flipped again to Republicans when Salazar, a former journalist, received.
Republicans made huge beneficial properties in Florida in 2020 and their momentum has continued. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis may turn out to be the primary Republican governor in 20 years to win Miami-Dade County, which is partly within the twenty seventh District.
The nonpartisan Cook dinner Political Report has the district categorized as “lean Republican.”
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