ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A week after leaving the Democratic primary for Florida governor, state Sen. Annette Taddeo on Monday endorsed former campaign rival U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist for the job of challenging Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the fall.
Taddeo urged other Florida Democrats to rally around Crist, a Democratic congressman from St. Petersburg who served one term as governor when he was in the Republican Party in the late 2000s.
Taddeo was Crist's running mate in his failed bid for governor in 2014 against then-incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott. After Taddeo left the race last week, Crist and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried remained the strongest candidates running in the Democratic primary.
"Make no mistake, Charlie is ready for the fight ahead. He is battle-tested and has a true vision to deliver change across Florida," Taddeo said in a statement. "Most importantly, he is our strongest candidate to defeat Ron DeSantis."
Taddeo is now running as a Democratic nominee in a South Florida congressional race. The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. María Elvira Salazar, who took office after winning her 2020 election. Taddeo faces Miami Commissioner Ken Russell and community organizer Angel Montalvo in the Aug. 23 Democratic primary.
Taddeo, 55, is the founder and CEO of LanguageSpeak, which offers translation services in more than 240 languages.