AFSCME Helps Pull Off Upset Win in Florida State Senate Race

Facing long odds going into Election Day, AFSCME members helped to pull off an unexpected 1,664 vote victory in a Florida state senate special election on behalf of a strong support of labor.

Annette Taddeo is someone who is familiar with our community and our issues because she has stood with us on so many times over the years,” said Ketha Otis, chair of AFSCME’s PEOPLE program for South Florida. “We knew we had an opportunity to win but that it would be an uphill battle and would require an aggressive campaign to make it happen.”

AFSCME partnered with SEIU to run an independent expenditure campaign in support of Taddeo. With Senate District 40 home to more than 6,000 workers represented by the two unions, the program was run as a "hybrid campaign," canvassing both members and potential members. Throughout the campaign, AFSCME and SEIU canvassers connected with voters from both unions at their homes to discuss strengthening their union and to urge them to turn out to vote for Taddeo.

The program included persuasion and get out the vote phone banks, direct mail and social media efforts along with almost 8,000 visits to workers at their doors. Through these efforts, AFSCME signed up 29 new members.   

AFSCME also helped to lead the AFL-CIO’s coordinated campaign program and to direct the efforts of the AFSCME-supported grassroots organization For Our Future. FOF coordinated the operations of other progressive organizations to knock on knocking on 145,000 doors of targeted voters.   

Facing an almost 2,200 vote deficit following the Vote By Mail period, Taddeo thanked labor for helping her close the gap during Early Vote and on Election Day.

“Our campaign was a strong coalition of grassroots supporters,” said Taddeo. “And labor and community organizations who unified behind a winning plan. This was a community, grassroots driven effort and I am ready to continue the work in our state capitol.”

“She is someone we know will continue to stand with us and always have an open ear and an open door to working families,” said Otis.

The aggressive, and successful, campaign was made possible by AFSCME PEOPLE, the way AFSCME members can help elect local, state and federal candidates who will fight for us and the issues we care about most. To learn more about AFSCME PEOPLE click here.