Sen. Annette Taddeo shifts from Florida guv’s race to congressional bid in CD27

State Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) announced Monday that she was going to withdraw from the Florida governor’s race — where she promised to become the first Latina guv — and will instead run in the primary for the congressional seat in Florida’s 27th Congressional District against U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar.

She said the guns made her do it.

“After the tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde and a conversation with my daughter about the realities our kids face daily, I knew what I needed to do,” Taddeo said in a statement. “We are at a pivotal moment in our country and we desperately need leadership in Washington that can be trusted to put politics aside for the best interest of Miamians.”

But this switch has been rumored for at least a month, when Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins cut her congressional campaign real short — less than a week after announcing — because, she wanted to support Taddeo, whos campaign people denied any kind of change.

Read related: Surprise Eileen Higgins ‘withdrawal’ in CD27 raises questions, causes confusion

The truth is that Taddeo was struggling in the governor’s campaign. She was third in polls, third in fundraising. “I had a decision to make. I could stay in a bruising primary or I could fight in this congressional,” Taddeo told Channel 4’s Jim DeFede.

Las malas lenguas say that Taddeo polled quite a while ago in CD27 and did freakishly well — causing Higgins to stay put — so many insiders expected her to switch gears. The recent shooting tragedies only gave her a good excuse.

“Families in Miami need a representative in Congress who will stand up for them, hold Washington politicians accountable and make sure we finally tackle issues like the cost of living, gun violence, and defending a woman’s right to choose,” Taddeo said in her statement.

Read related: Annette Taddeo funding lags far behind Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried in guv’s race

She changed her pinned tweet late Monday from ‘Yay, I’m running for gov,’ to “excited for the opportunity to earn the trust and support of the people who live in Florida’s 27th Congressional District which includes much of the area I’ve been grateful to represent in my historic time in the Florida Senate since 2017.”

Not so fast, says Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, who made a switch of his own — from U.S. Senate against Marco Rubio, because he couldn’t beat Val Demings — to CD27, and is standing in the way between Taddeo and Salazar with an Aug. 23 Democratic primary.

So it’s a consolation prize contest.

Both Russell and Taddeo have represented voters in this district for years because their current districts overlap.

Russell has already raised has $1.4 million and has a campaign field team in place. Last week, he announced the launching of his canvassing efforts, which he expects to reach 150,000 doors by election day. This week, he’s officially launching the campaign with a block party.

Read related: Annette Taddeo starts guv campaign with a bang — and $650K from donors

He also already has the endorsement of 14 local electeds and five labororganizations. Oh, and veteran Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem.

“This isn’t going to be a race about gender,” Russell told Ladra. “It’s going to be a race about who’s delivered.”

But he doesn’t expect there to be a nasty primary campaign. Just like Taddeo is ignoring him, he’s going to stay away from talking about her.

“You won’t see me get in a fight with another Democrat,” Russell said.

Salazar is ignoring them, too. There was no response to Taddeo’s switch on her social media. Instead, the congresswoman wished a happy birthday to Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez.