Tight race ahead of midterms: Salazar refuses to debate Taddeo

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar refuses to debate her Democratic opponent Annette Taddeo before the midterm elections.

KENDALL, Fla. – Rep. María Elvira Salazar, who has represented Florida’s 27th Congressional District for the last year, has refused to debate Florida Sen. Annette Taddeo, who is campaigning to unseat her.

Salazar, a Cuban American Republican, said Friday during a campaign stop that she doesn’t need to debate Taddeo, a Colombian American Democrat.

“People know what she stands for; people know what I stand for,” Salazar said.

During a news conference, Salazar said Taddeo endorses President Joe Biden’s economic policies. In response, Taddeo, a businesswoman, said she is ready to debate Salazar, a retired journalist.

“I think it’s also an insult to our constituents, to our community, but also to her career, because she comes from the media, and as someone who claims to be all about freedom of Democracy, Democracy comes with freedom of the press, the ability to answer questions,” Taddeo said.

Salazar and Taddeo do have different views on access to abortion.

“I will be a vote to codify Roe v. Wade and we should do it, and she is not, she actually voted against it,” Taddeo said.

This could be a point of contention for the conservative Colombian Americans in the district. The issue of immigration also divides the Colombian American vote.

Taddeo has called out Salazar for not speaking out against Gov. Ron DeSantis’s recent migrant flights.

Salazar is the daughter of Cuban exiles who fled Fidel Castro’s regime and Taddeo’s family was the victim of a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla who kidnapped her father in Colombia.

Their views on foreign policy are similar. But most of the conservative Colombian Americans in Kendall are loyal to former Colombian presidents Alvaro Uribe and Ivan Duque.

On Friday, Taddeo criticized Salazar over statements implying that she had the endorsement of Duque and Uribe when neither of them has made such an announcement.

“The truth is that neither of them has been involved in this,” wrote Taddeo, who if elected would become the first Jewish Latina in the U.S. Congress.

About the Authors:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.