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Colombian-American from Pinecrest to run for Florida Democratic Party chairwoman

Annette Taddeo, who served as a Hispanic surrogate for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, plans to run to head the Florida Democratic Party.

Taddeo will vie to succeed party Chairman Rod Smith, whose term ends in January. He is not seeking reelection. At least one other candidate, Alan Clendenin of Hillsborough County, has already jumped in the race.

In order to be eligible, Taddeo will first have to be elected for another post: chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. Taddeo had been planning to seek that seat for months. The local party election to replace outgoing chairman Richard Lydecker will take place next month.

"I'm still very much committed to Miami-Dade County, and to building a bench" of candidates, Taddeo said Wednesday. But other party insiders have urged her to set her sights on the state level. "During the Obama campaign, I had quite a few people reach out to me," she added. "The calls continued after the campaign."

Former state Rep. Scott Randolph of Orlando was the leading candidate to take over the state party reins, Taddeo said, but he got elected Orange County tax collector on Election Day in a last-minute bid after the incumbent candidate died.

Taddeo, a Colombian-American who owns a translation business, has waged two unsuccessful campaigns for public office: against U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in 2008 and for an open Miami-Dade County Commission seat in 2010. She has been involved in national political groups, particularly advocating for female and Hispanic candidates.

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