From Alex Leary at The Buzz:
A former aide to state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, has been named Florida state Hispanic director for the Republican National Committee.
Alex Garcia, who will work closely with the state GOP, is among three staffers the RNC will have in the state as it seeks to build ties with Hispanics, a group Republicans have struggled with.
The RNC said today it had hired staffers in seven states.
"The engagement team will build a grassroots infrastructure and engage with voters at community events, as well as strengthen our ties with Hispanic Republicans," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "As part of the RNC’s effort to build a permanent ground operation, the RNC will work in partnership with state parties to ensure a year-round presence in Latino neighborhoods."
Republicans made similar moves before the last presidential election, but Barack Obama got 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, illustrating how much ground must be made up.
The GOP is on safer footing in Florida, where Cuban-Americans remain a potent voting bloc. But demographic changes along with new immigrant groups provide an upside for Democrats.
The Florida staffers are (bios provided by RNC):
Alex Garcia is the Florida State Hispanic Director for the Republican National Committee. Prior to joining the RNC, Alex spent over four years working in the Florida Legislature as a Legislative Aide for Sen. Anitere Flores and Rep. Michael Bileca. As deputy campaign manager for the Anitere Flores for State Senate campaign in 2010, Alex became familiar with the fundamentals of grassroots campaigning. Additionally, he served as campaign manager for the Michael Bileca for State Representative campaign. Alex holds his B.Sc. from Florida International University's College of Nursing and Health Science.
Jeannette Quinones-Hernandez is the Hispanic Field Director for Florida (Central Florida). Jeannette grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico and moved to Central Florida in 1989. Jeanette is an experienced manager and supervisor, and has volunteered in the community and in the political arena, working with the Marco Rubio for Senate campaign in 2010 and with Gov. Mitt Romney's Hispanic Outreach efforts. Jeannette is a member of First Baptist Church of Orlando; she currently lives in Orlando with her husband.
Lourdes Aguirre is the Hispanic Field Director for Florida (South Florida). She was previously the Executive Producer of "Eres America," a television, radio and internet-based program. Lourdes sits on the board of Mujeres de Esperanza, an influential Hispanic Faith Based organization, and is a member of the Hispanic Association of Pastors in Miami-Dade County and serves as an active Executive Committee member for special events. Lourdes is a wife and mother of four daughters ages 10 thru 29.
The other states are California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.