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Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

Patricia Mazzei

Patricia Mazzei is the political writer for the Miami Herald. She joined the newspaper in 2007 after graduating from the University of Miami. Her previous beats include congressional and state legislative politics, Miami-Dade County Hall, Miami City Hall and Broward County public schools. Born and raised in Venezuela, she is fluent in Spanish.

Phone: (305) 376‑3350


Twitter: @PatriciaMazzei

  1. Venezuelan lawmaker tied to Rubio death threat: ‘We don’t care about you’


    The powerful Venezuelan lawmaker tied to a potential death order against U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio dismissed the notion late Wednesday that he has a personal interest in getting the Florida Republican killed.

    “The things we’ve said here about Narco Rubio are responses to his attacks,” Diosdado Cabello said, repeating his preferred slur against the senator. “But from my telling you that, to coming up with a plan to assassinate someone — you don’t know us. We always deal with things head on. We don’t use imperialism’s methods.”...

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami.
  2. What Florida's top Republicans are saying about Donald Trump

    State Roundup

    Republicans nationwide are blasting President Donald Trump for how he responded to Charlottesville.

    From his news conference Saturday where he blamed "many sides" for the violent clashes between white supremacists and protesters to Tuesday's news conference where the president said "both sides" shared the blame, there's been much material for the Party of Lincoln to repudiate....

    U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement on the violence this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia at the White House on August 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville when a car allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. barreled into a crowd of counter-protesters following violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally. Two Virginia state police troopers were also killed when their helicopter crashed while covering events on the ground. [Getty Images]
  3. Jack Latvala's campaign launch bogged down by Charlottesville


    Jack Latvala, Florida’s newest Republican candidate for governor, struggled Wednesday to fully blame the deadly violence that took place during a Charlottesville rally over the weekend on white supremacists.

    Latvala formally launched his 2018 bid in Hialeah with a moment of silence for the 32-year-old woman and two state troopers who died in Virginia. But he later declined to lay all responsibility for their deaths on the racist neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan groups that staged two days of demonstrations....

    Jack Latvala
  4. Miami Republicans part ways with Trump on Charlottesville


    Three Miami Republican lawmakers wasted no time Tuesday to again denounce President Donald Trump after he again insistedthat “both sides” were to blame for deadly violence over the weekend during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

    Sen. Marco Rubio and Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen took to Twitter after Trump, in an aggressively defiant news conference, maintained that counter-protesters — whom the president called the “alt-left” — were also “very, very violent.”...

    Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Sen. Marco Rubio, pictured here in 2016, were among the Republicans to denounce President Donald Trump’s insistence that “both sides” were to blame for violence in Charlottesville
  5. Possible death order from Venezuela targets Sen. Marco Rubio


    One of Venezuela's most powerful leaders may have put out an order to kill Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fervent critic of the South American country's government, according to intelligence obtained by the U.S. last month.

    Though federal authorities couldn't be sure at the time if the uncorroborated threat was real, they took it seriously enough that Rubio has been guarded by a security detail for several weeks in both Washington and Miami....

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, has been an outspoken critic of the government in Venezuela.
  6. Sen. Marco Rubio under increased security amid potential death order from Venezuela

    State Roundup

    One of Venezuela's most powerful leaders may have put out an order to kill Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fervent critic of the South American country's government, according to intelligence obtained by the U.S. last month.

    Though federal authorities couldn't be sure at the time if the uncorroborated threat was real, they took it seriously enough that Rubio has been guarded by a security detail for several weeks in both Washington and Miami....

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. [Associated Press]
  7. Trump featured in Miami Senate race ad


    Florida Democrats are going up on TV first in a special Miami Senate election, trying to portray Republican Jose Felix Diaz as a lackey of President Donald Trump.

    The spot by the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee begins with Trump on the TV -- and Democrat Annette Taddeo turning it off.

    "Families are too busy to worry about this drama," she says, rattling off a list of education and especially health care issues she argues are more important to voters. "But Jose Felix Diaz supports Trump's every move."...

  8. Rubio and Trump meet with Bay of Pigs vets


    Here's something that wasn't on President Donald Trump's public schedule Thursday: a private Oval Office gathering with Cuban-American Bay of Pigs veterans.

    The six men got their picture taken with Sen. Marco Rubio and Trump, seated behind the Resolute Desk, according to a photo tweeted by Rubio's office.

    Last time Trump was in Miami, tightening U.S. policy toward Cuba, he met for a few minutes backstage at the Manuel Artime Theater in East Little Havana with Brigade 2506 veterans. The brigade issued its first-ever presidential endorsement last year, for Trump, a fact he has since repeatedly mentioned as important to his campaign....

    Another White House photo op
  9. Taddeo settles her AmEx lawsuit, details kept private


    Democratic Florida Senate candidate Annette Taddeo said she settled a lawsuit Wednesday with American Express over what the company had claimed were nearly $38,000 in unpaid charges.

    The terms of the lawsuit were kept private. In a statement, Taddeo's campaign spokesman said the lawsuit "has been amicably resolved by both parties." AmEx sued Taddeo and her translation business, LanguageSpeak, in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month. ...

  10. Marco Rubio delivers speech in Spanish on independent Venezuelan TV station


    In an unusual move possible only for a bilingual U.S. senator, Florida Republican Marco Rubio got to make a speech late Monday night on an independent Venezuelan TV news channel in which he expressed solidarity for opponents of President Nicolás Maduro, who was sanctioned by the Trump administration Monday as a "dictator."

    "There is no U.S. economic blocked on Venezuela. Yet the economy of a rich nation is in shambles, because the Maduro government has given away your oil and much of your sovereignty to Cuba," said Rubio, who is fluent in Spanish. "For Nicolás Maduro, who I am sure is watching, the current path you are on will not end well for you."...

  11. Seven Democrats in running to replace GOP's Ros-Lehtinen


    Matt Haggman, the former program director of Miami’s Knight Foundation, will run for Congress as a Democrat to seek retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat.

    “Our biggest challenges continue to go unmet,” he told the Miami Herald on Monday. “We’re not building for the future. Sea-level rise is being ignored. Many of the jobs today will be dramatically different in a very, very short time. We’re doing very little on that — and that has to change.”...

    Matt Haggman
  12. Curbelo draws Democratic challenger in swing Florida district


    Months after Democrats began calling him a top national target, Carlos Curbelo has drawn a serious 2018 challenger.

    Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who ran a stronger-than-expected state Senate campaign in 2016, will run for Congress. She plans to hold a news conference announcing her candidacy Wednesday.

    “It’s shocking that the people in Washington are trying to strip healthcare from millions of Americans,” Mucarsel-Powell told the Miami Herald in an interview Monday, taking a jab at Curbelo. “The person that I’m running against voted for Trumpcare.”...

    Debbie Murarsel-Powell
  13. Lawsuit: Annette Taddeo owes $38,000 to American Express


    Democratic Florida Senate candidate Annette Taddeo and her translation business owe American Express nearly $38,000, according to a lawsuit the credit card company filed last month.

    American Express sued Taddeo and her company, LanguageSpeak, in Miami circuit court June 29, seeking payment for an unpaid balance of $37,794 due since December. In a statement, Taddeo said she was "blindsided" by the lawsuit and called some of the charges "disputed."...

    Annettee Taddeo
  14. Perez wins Republican primary in special Miami House election


    Daniel Perez won a special Republican primary in a GOP-leaning Miami state House district Tuesday — meaning the attorney and political newcomer is now the heavy favorite to head to Tallahassee in a few months.

    Perez defeated brewery owner Jose Mallea in the race for House District 116, a Southwest Miami-Dade County seat that is unlikely to switch to Democratic hands. Perez will nonetheless face Democrat Gabriela Mayaudón, herself a first-time legislative candidate, in the Sept. 26 general election....

    Republican candidate Daniel Perez, celebrates with supporters Gaby Blanco (left) and Olga Cutillas at the Sports Grill in Kendall after his victory in the House District 116 primary.
  15. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries


    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Taddeo and Diaz will now face off in the Sept. 26 general election for Senate District 40, a competitive seat in the heart of Southwest Miami-Dade County....

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.