Democrats defeat Trump ‘Apprentice’ to flip GOP Senate seat in Miami

Democrat Annette Taddeo campaigning with Charlie Crist in 2014 in West Palm Beach when she was Crist’s running mate in the governor’s race. Taddeo won a special Senate election in Miami on Tuesday. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

Democrat Annette Taddeo won a special state Senate election in Miami on Tuesday over state Rep. Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz — a former contestant on Donald Trump‘s The Apprenticeto capture a seat that had been held by the GOP.

In a district that voted for Hillary Clinton, Democrats highlighted Republican Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz’s ties to President Donald Trump.

As is often the case in special elections, the winners sought to give the contest significance beyond the boundaries of the district where it took place.

“Taddeo Trumps GOP, Dems winning again!” said a fundraising email late Tuesday night from state Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Atlantis, who is in line to become Senate Democratic leader in 2018, on behalf of the Democratic Senate Victory committee.

Although Republican Frank Artiles won the 2016 general election race for the seat before resigning in April, Senate District 40 voted for Hillary Clinton by a wide margin.

Democrats ran ads linking Diaz to Trump.

“If you were asking for the Democrats to draw up a candidate that had links to Trump you couldn’t do any better than someone who actually appeared as a contestant on The Apprentice. He was also an early Trump endorser. So Pepi Diaz is going to have to live with Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, his anti-health care policies, and those aren’t particularly popular in Miami,” Clemens said in August.



Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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