Conservative fire-brand and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will keynote the Miami-Dade GOP’s June 20th Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser, leading some to wonder if he’s stepping on the toes and turf of local favorite son Marco Rubio.
Miami-Dade’s GOP chairman, Nelson Diaz, wants to put that rumor to rest.
“This was all about our calendar and who could make it. Marco couldn’t,” Diaz said. “Sen. Kelly Ayotte, from New Hampshire, couldn’t. [Louisiana Gov.] Bobby Jindal couldn’t make it. Neither could [New Mexico Gov.] Susana Martinez.”
On a personal level, Diaz is the very essence of a Rubio insider. They’ve known each other for decades and Diaz considers the U.S. senator “my mentor, my friend.” He would resign his party post before betraying Rubio.
Diaz said the fundraising event was chosen for June 20 to accommodate the schedules of Cruz as well as local Republican state legislators, for whom most of the money is raised. The spring lawmaking session interferes with the first half of the year and fundraising after July (due to school starting up and the primary season cooking) is a bad time.
That leaves June. And, after all was done and said with everyone else’s schedules, that left Cruz.
Does this mean Cruz -- son of a Cuban exile -- is a last pick? Again, no, said Diaz.
“We’re excited about Ted Cruz,” Diaz said. “He’s a good conservative. He’s not wishy washy.”