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Who is Florida gubernatorial candidate Annette Taddeo?

If elected, Taddeo would be Florida's first Latina governor.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — State Sen. Annette Taddeo has officially entered the race to be Florida's next governor. 

You may remember her as the Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate in 2014, where she ran alongside Charlie Crist. The pair came up just short of stopping now U.S. Sen. Rick Scott from winning a second term as Florida's governor. 

Now she's up against her former running mate, as well as other big-name Democrats like Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

“I know and respect Annette Taddeo. We share a common goal of moving Florida forward and away from the negative and divisive politics damaging our state today under the failed leadership of Gov. DeSantis. We, like most Floridians, know we can and must do better," U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist said in part in response to Taddeo's gubernatorial bid.

While Taddeo admittedly shares similar policy stances with her Democratic opponents, she's making sure to set herself apart.

“I don’t think most of us disagree on many of the policies,” Taddeo said at a news conference Monday outside of the Florida Secretary of State's office.

“Although I will tell you, those people across the state that have been really outspoken to me about running are very aware that I am a lifelong Democrat and somebody who has never stood down to our Democratic values," she continued in an apparent jab at Crist, who was Florida's Republican governor from 2007-2011.

Taddeo's background is also a standout feature in a field of mostly white gubernatorial candidates.

She was born in Barrancabermeja, Colombia in 1967. Taddeo grew up on a farm until she fled to the U.S. as a teenager with her family after a Marxist terrorist group kidnapped her father, she said in her campaign video.

Taddeo said she gets her "fighting spirit" from her dad, who went on to battle the Nazis as an American fighter pilot during World War II. But it all began when she was born with a cleft lip, she added.

"I was bullied, made fun of and told that I would never be normal," Taddeo said. "After enduring 19 surgeries just so I could smile, I learned early on how much it means to access to affordable health care."

Taddeo started her own translation business, LanguageSpeak, which would go on to be named one of the Top 100 Small Businesses in Florida, according to her website.

The now 54-year-old was first elected Florida State Senator for District 40 in 2017. If elected in this race, Taddeo would be Florida's first Latina governor. 

"But it’s not just about making history. It’s about making a difference for others to achieve the American dream," she said in her campaign video.

Other causes Taddeo lists in her campaign video are "a science-based, common-sense approach to public health in this pandemic, a living wage for all Floridians, a woman’s right to make choices about her own body, economic growth through helping our small businesses, affordable healthcare, safe drinking water."

According to Florida Politics, Taddeo confirmed in May that she was considering a run for governor and has since been an increasingly outspoken critic of Gov. DeSantis.

She has also reportedly ramped up fundraising efforts after hiring a new, all-female leadership team for her political committee, Fight Back Florida.   

Taddeo has a husband and a 12-year-old daughter named Sofia.