By: Jessica Kline, Spring 2015 GALEO Intern
While the 2016 presidential election is still over a year and a half away, the country has been buzzing in response to the candidacy announcements from four prominent individuals: Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. In addition to releasing their intentions to run, these candidates have also commenced efforts to reach out to the Latino community, a constituency that will be vital throughout this election season. Here’s what caught the attention of the Latino community in each of the four announcements:
Hillary Clinton (Democrat) – The former U.S. Secretary of State and frontrunner for the Democratic Party announced her candidacy on April 12th on social media. Her announcement was released in English and Spanish and her website also allows the viewer to choose between the two languages.
Ted Cruz (Republican) – On March 23rd the U.S. Senator of Texas gave his announcement speech at Liberty University. The Cuban-American candidate opened his speech with descriptions of his parents, including his father’s escape from Cuba and what his story has taught him about liberty and the power of Christianity.
Rand Paul (Republican) –The U.S. Senator from Kentucky, who declared his candidacy on April 7th, brought up many policy issues during his announcement speech, but did not mention immigration. Many people are watching closely to see where he stands on the various issues affecting the Latino community, as his opinions have often been unclear in the past.
Marco Rubio (Republican) – The Florida Senator announced his bid to run on April 13th at Freedom Tower, a landmark that is known for being, “the first stop for tens of thousands of fleeing Cuban exiles during the 1960s and 1970s” (4). A Cuban-American himself, he emphasized in his speech his ancestry and hope to provide all Americans with the opportunities that were made available to his parents.
While it is very early in the race, initial support from the Latino community is important because many estimate that the GOP will require at least 40 percent of the their vote in order to win the upcoming election. Others are emphasizing the fact that while Latinos have often favored the left in the past, the Democratic Party cannot take their support for granted. All of the candidates are expected to take further steps to reach out for the Latino vote, which presents the opportunity for the community to get informed and involved from the start. With the Latino vote growing stronger every year, now is the time for them to make their voices heard and, more importantly, to see which candidates listen.
“NOTE: The opinions express in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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