Two key unions announced Tuesday that they endorsed Annette Taddeo in her bid to replace former Senator Frank Artiles, who was forced to resign in April after he was caught in a racial rant against a black legislator.
The leaders of SEIU Florida and AFSCME Florida both said they were pleased to back Taddeo, who has always had the union endorsements in every single election she has lost and is running for the Democrat nomination against former State Rep. Ana Rivas Logan.
“We have a great opportunity to elect Annette Taddeo who has a proven track record of being a passionate and determined voice for the residents of Senate District 40,” SEIU Florida President Monica Russo, said in a statement. “Annette brings both grace and grit to this crucial race. She is a fighter and a negotiator. Should she win, expect Annette Taddeo to go toe-to-toe with the power structure to fight for the rights of working folks.”
Key words: Should she win. Because what Taddeo really has is a proven track record of losing elections. The SEIU should know that. They endorsed her last year against former Congressman Joe Garcia in that Democratic primary. So did the local AFL-CIO and United Teachers of Dade.
“Taddeo’s candidacy has excited members because of her strong understanding of the issues South Floridians face, her plans to tackle income inequality and focus state government on the needs of working people instead of corporate CEOs and her commitment to protecting workplace freedoms,” the statement Tuesday said.
There’s no doubt that this could have an impact in a special election where there is a tiny little turnout projected. Much less than the 20,390 who voted in the district in the August Democratic primary. Combined, the local AFSCME and SEIU chapters represent more than 6,000 workers in Senate District 40 — which could give her an edge, if they all vote for her. The endorsement likely comes with some phone banking and certainly with bodies on election day to hand out palm cards at voting locations.
But, again, Taddeo had all the union endorsements and their people in 2016, and Garcia still beat her 52 to 48 percent.