By John MacLauchlan

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former Chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party is challenging first termRepublican Congressman Carlos Curbelo for the state’s District 26 seat.

Annette Taddeo, a small businesswoman who has lived in Florida for more than 30 year, made the announcement Monday.

“Having worked minimum wage jobs, juggled child-care, and felt the pressure of balancing the books and making payroll – I understand the struggles South Florida families are going through right now. And having built a successful small business from the ground-up, I know what it takes to overcome the odds, bring people together, and get results,” said Taddeo in a statement. “I want to use my experience in small business and our community to get things done for South Florida and be a voice for all of us in Congress.”

Many will remember Taddeo was picked by Charlie Crist to be his running mate when he challenged Rick Scott for the governor’s job last fall. They lost.

In 2008, Taddeo challenged Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for her seat. She lost but she still drew more than a hundred thousand votes.

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Taddeo says she’s committed to taking on Curbelo. So much so that she and her husband plant to sell their current home and buy a new one in the 26th district to establish residency, according to politico.com.

Taddeo, who grew up in Colombia, came to America at the age of 18 and attended college.

She developed her translation services company, LanguageSpeak, in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. It’s been named one of the top 500 small businesses in the United States.

Curbelo, a former Miami-Dade school board member, ousted Rep. Joe Garcia in 2014 on the campaign platform that fraud would not be tolerated and a new chapter needed to begin.  At the time, Garcia was battling corruption allegations related to his ex-chief of staff’s conviction on filling out multiple absentee ballot requests.  He denied knowing about a plot to make fake online requests for absentee ballots,

Curbelo, who set up a business and political consulting firm called Capitol Gains after graduating from the University of Miami, served as state director for U.S. Sen. George LeMieux before winning a seat on the Miami-Dade School Board in 2010.

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