Donald Trump

Hispanic Florida GOP communications chief quits because of Trump

Wadi Gaitan
Wadi Gaitan

Donald Trump has claimed a casualty at the Republican Party of Florida: its communications chief, who is Hispanic.

Wadi Gaitan, whose parents are Honduran, is said to have had too many differences with his political party’s presidential nominee to continue defending him to the press.

Gaitan himself wouldn’t publicly blame Trump for his departure, though other Hispanic Republicans — some of them who have or still work in Florida — did so privately.

“I’m thankful for my almost two years with the Florida GOP, however, moving on gives me a great, new opportunity to continue promoting free market solutions while avoiding efforts that support Donald Trump,” Gaitan said in a statement.

His resignation was first reported by BuzzFeed.

Gaitan is headed back to Washington, D.C., to work for the LIBRE Initiative, a conservative Hispanic group backed by the industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. Neither LIBRE nor the Kochs have backed Trump.

Gaitan worked on the 2014 campaign of Miami U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, another Republican who refuses to back the nominee. Gaitan cut his teeth working for House Republicans during the immigration-reform debate, speaking to Spanish-language reporters and booking Hispanic members of Congress on TV and radio shows.

He is not the first Hispanic Republican political operative to leave a high-profile job once confronted with defending Trump. Ruth Guerra, a LIBRE alumna who had worked for Miami U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, stepped down as Hispanic communications director for the Republican National Committee in June for the same reason. The national party then struggled to replace her, eventually hiring Miamian Helen Aguirre Ferré, who herself has seemed reluctant at times to embrace Trump.

When RPOF hired Gaitan in May 2015, it trumpeted his bilingual skills — something top Florida Democratic Party staff did not have at the time.