Set to vote for people you don't know

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Column by Jim Clark

Quick now, who are Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Annette Taddeo? Don’t know? Doesn’t surprise me.
They are candidates who are part of possibly the most contentious political race in the country, and yet a large percentage of people have never heard of them.
Carlos Lopez-Cantera is the running mate for Gov. Rick Scott.
Annette Taddeo is Charlie Crist’s running mate.
Lopez-Cantera is already the lieutenant governor of Florida. He was appointed earlier this year by Scott.
According to his website, he was born prematurely in Madrid, Spain, eventually coming to Miami where his parents had originally intended for him to be born.
He is a graduate of Miami-Dade College and the University of Miami.
In 2004 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and served for eight years. He was majority whip and majority leader.
In 2012 he was elected as property appraiser in Miami-Dade County, before being named lieutenant governor, the first Hispanic in that position. He replaced Jennifer Carroll, who was the first black and first woman elected to that position. She resigned after being linked to a scandal involving Internet cafes and gambling.
Taddeo, who is called Taddeo-Goldstein by the Miami Herald, is also from the Miami area. She lost two elections, one for Congress and the other for Miami-Dade County Commission, before being tapped as Crist’s running mate.
She is, like her opponent, of Hispanic descent.
There are, of course, other candidates on the ballot, but it would be a major upset if one of these two isn’t elected as lieutenant governor.
There are other races that you might call “low profile,” such as Commissioner of Agriculture, Chief Financial Officer and Attorney General (although you see Pam Bondi ads everywhere).
If you’re going to vote party lines, fine. If not, get the names off your sample ballot and go online to research the candidates.
At any rate, no matter what, get out and vote next Tuesday, Nov. 4. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
And if you’ve already voted, I ask the one question that keeps me from voting early: “Do you know where your ballot is?”

Jim Clark is the editor of the West Marion Messenger and South Marion Citizen.