By Evelyn Perez-Verdia
Updated July 20, 2014
Three days before Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist announced his pick for Lieutenant Governor, through Twitter I stated that Crist would pick a woman, and if he was wise she would be Hispanic. Hours before news came out that Crist had picked Colombian-American, Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his running mate, I had predicted that he would pick an African American woman to be his running mate. It was a major “foot in mouth” moment for me. However, as a Hispanic and former Democrat, I must confess that I did not expect anything less from the Democratic Party. For many years I saw how the Democratic Party would constantly leave Hispanics out from high positions and were not supported when they ran for political office. I felt like Taddeo mentioned herself: “too many people across Florida are feeling left out and behind.” I felt that we as Hispanics had been left behind by the Florida Democratic Party. It is one of the reasons that in the beginning of 2010 I decided to become NPA ( No Party Affiliation). In addition, just like many NPA Hispanics, I became tired of the political parties. I decided I would not vote for the party, I decided to vote for the best person regardless of political affiliation.
The strategy for years of the Florida Democratic Party was to always pick and support an Anglo Saxon Man. Finally when they became more progressive and saw that the majority of this minority group favored them, they finally opened up and started including African Americans. The Florida Democratic Party year after year has made the same decision in midterm elections. In 2010, Alex Sink picked Rod Smith. In 2006, Jim Davis picked Darryl Jones (First and only African American). In 2002, Bill McBride picked Tom Rossin. In 1998, Buddy Mackay and Rick Dantzler. 1994 and 1990, Lawton Chiles and buddy Buddy Mackay. The list of white Anglo Saxon Males as the choice for the Democratic Party goes on to the day that the position of Lieutenant Governor was created in Florida. While the Florida Democratic Party continued with the same choices, in 1986 Republicans and Floridians had already embraced a Hispanic as governor, Bob Martinez. After over almost half a century of the same, I never imagined 2014 would be the year it would finally change. Hispanics finally caught the Florida Democratic Party’s eye for a statewide gubernatorial election.