Luis Arrizurieta, a longtime member of the Miami-Dade County Republican Executive Committee, died Thursday, two days before the party's annual Lincoln Day fund-raiser.
The GOP honored his memory Saturday night by holding a moment of silence at the start of the program. A projector showed photographs of Arrizurieta, a Bay of Pigs veteran who died of natural causes. He was 86.
"We were wondering why he hadn't purchased a table for the dinner," lamented GOP Chairman Nelson Diaz, who called the late Arrizurieta "a dear friend."
One of Arrizurieta's sons, Jorge Arrizurieta, is a longtime friend and fund-raiser for presidential candidate Jeb Bush. The younger Arrizurieta has said he met Bush through his dad when he was Miami-Dade GOP treasurer.
The elder Arrizurieta attended Bush's campaign launch Monday and Miami -- and, last month, a fund-raiser in Sweetwater in which a Miami Herald photographer snapped a picture of the two men hugging.
"My dad said to me, when I showed him that picture, 'OK, now my life is complete,'" Jorge Arrizurieta said later. "I said, 'Whoa, hold on. You're not going anywhere yet. No. 1, you've got to vote for the guy.'"
"I shared that with Jeb and he said, 'Well, that sounds like your dad.'"
Photo credit: Pedro Portal, El Nuevo Herald