Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist picked former congressional candidate and Miami-Dade County Democratic Party chairwoman Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his running mate.
Former Gov. Crist made the announcement Thursday in Miami.
Taddeo-Goldstein was born in Colombia to an American father and Colombian mother and spent the first 17 years of her life in the South American country.
The pick comes less than six weeks ahead of the Democratic primary and will help shore up support among the party faithful. Crist is facing former Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich.
Here is a running compilation of reactions to Crist’s selection:
Gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich:
“Because he’s been a life-long Republican, Charlie Crist might be excused for not knowing that Democrats typically don’t choose a running mate until they win the nomination.
“What can’t be excused is his refusal to engage in the democratic process in a serious way. Crist’s record is in stark contrast to the values of the Democratic Party. He is anti-choice, has consistently opposed equality for the LGBT community, expanded private school vouchers, given the NRA a blank check, and appointed some of the most right-wing judges in Florida. More than 89% of Florida Democrats want a gubernatorial primary debate to discuss these issues.
“Today Crist answered a question few voters are interested in. It is well past time for him to commit to debates and answer the questions voters do care about.”
State Senator Darren Soto, via Twitter:
“Taddeo a great LG pick for @ as a strong voice for Women and Hispanics Viva Democratas!”
Former State Senator Dan Gelber:
“I have known and worked with Annette for a long time. She’s a substantial person who understands the challenges facing our families and small businesses – and she understands how Rick Scott’s policies have made their lives harder. She will make an outstanding lieutenant governor.”
State Representative Janet Cruz:
“The People’s Ticket is now even stronger with the addition of Annette Taddeo – an incredibly strong talented woman and role model whom I am proud to call my friend. As an Hispanic woman and mother, I understand how important it is for struggling families and hard working parents in Tampa Bay and across Florida to have a seat at the table and a chance for a better life. It is time that Tallahassee reflect the diversity that makes our state so unique. With Annette and Charlie, I know that all of Florida’s voices will be heard.”
State Representative Hazelle Rogers:
“It’s critical that those of us in public office understand the stress and the struggles facing our families and our communities. Annette Taddeo understands that stress, because she’s lived it as a working mom and a small businesswoman – and I’m glad she’ll bring that incredibly important perspective to this race.”
Florida Democratic Party chair Allison Tant:
“I have known Annette Taddeo for years, and consider her a true friend and a strong ally in the fight for Florida’s middle class. Annette’s story is America’s story. The daughter of a World War II fighter pilot, Annette has become a community leader in Miami and a nationally recognized businesswoman.“A loving wife and mom, Annette knows the struggles of middle class families. She’s seen first hand how Rick Scott has made it harder for small businesses and working families to succeed, while those at the top do better than ever. She’s the kind of leader I hope my own daughter looks up to, and the kind of Lt. Governor that Florida’s middle class — and everyone working to get into the middle class — deserves.”
“I applaud the Crist campaign’s choice of Vice-Chair Taddeo. Not only has she been a leader in our party, she’s been an advocate for families and communities.”