Ron Paul's Republican presidential campaign is downplaying its efforts in Florida, where it only sent a little bit of mail to early voters and won't advertise much, or at all, on TV (a must to win in large-state Florida's early Jan. 31 primary).
But his relatively small coterie of Florida supporters are amped. They've packed straw polls to secure wins for Paul. They say they have 15,000 in-state activists. And they're making some push for the Hispanic vote, which is a tall order considering the vagaries of Florida politics.
The primary is closed other parties. Only Republicans can vote. And the vast number of Florida Hispanic Republicans appear to be Cubans, who favor a hardline on Cuba. Paul is considering "the weakest" candidate on Cuba by Capitol Hill Cubans, an influential exile blog.
From a press release:
KISSIMMEE, Florida – The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign announced today additional members of its growing “Hispanics for Ron Paul” nationwide coalition.
The following additions are all from Miami-Dade County, Florida and have pledged to support Ron Paul’s candidacy spread the word about Dr. Paul among their peers.
Renyel Rivero is a real estate broker and owner of Worldwide Select Group. He says he is “…inspired by Ron Paul, specifically when it comes to his defiance of the corporatism that most don’t dare speak about. His persistence has created the possibility that what the powerful individuals and special interests have created will be brought down in the name of liberty once again. It’s no coincidence that as the population grows conscious of the special interests that have misled us, the support for Ron Paul grows.”
Originally from pre-Castro Havana, Cuba, Leopoldo Aguilera of Miami is a veteran of Brigade 2506, the group of Cuban exiles sponsored by the CIA for an attempted coup of the Castro-led government. A proud Cuban naturalized American citizen, Mr. Aguilera originally learned of Ron Paul while living in Texas in the 70s and 80s.
“I have followed Ron Paul since he first started in Texas. I lived there and can assure you that he is a totally straight arrow who has been warning us about our present economic disaster for over 30 years, and he is the only one that really knows and means what he says about solving our economic calamity,” said Mr. Aguilera.
Melanie Modesti of Coral Gables has been enthusiastically involved with the grassroots office in Miami, doing phone banking and precinct walking for Ron Paul, and has committed to more involvement in outreach for the local Hispanic community.
Born and raised in Miami’s Cuban exile community, Anthony Travieso is now studying economics at George Mason University in Virginia. Although offering a personal endorsement, Mr. Travieso is a member of the Miami-Dade Republican Executive Committee and is involved in many conservative grassroots organizations.
Mr. Travieso stated, “As a young Cuban-American, I believe Ron Paul’s platform of economic freedom can modernize a Cold War foreign policy of sanctions and embargos. Free-trade creates and empowers a middle class in all nations, so that individuals may guide their country’s future with unfettered rights.”
Similar to those first joining the coalition during its launch in November, the new members being announced today are leaders in their community who are representative of the support Dr. Paul enjoys from America’s fastest-growing population and voter segment.
A recent poll shows Dr. Paul faring better among nonwhite votes than any other Republican candidate when matched against incumbent President Barack Obama. “Hispanics for Ron Paul,” then, offers the Ron Paul campaign the opportunity to form a larger winning coalition by sharing his message of personal and economic liberty among voters of Hispanic ancestry.
As a function of this announcement, Messrs. Rivero, Aguilera, Travieso and Ms. Modesti are all members of the “Hispanics for Ron Paul” national advisory board, a steering committee focused on operations and referrals.