National Politics

Immigration front-and-center as Democratic contenders court Hispanic voters in Miami

Elizabeth Warren answers questions as eight presidential candidates attend the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Presidential Candidate Forum at Telemundo Center in Miami on Friday, June 21, 2019.
Elizabeth Warren answers questions as eight presidential candidates attend the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Presidential Candidate Forum at Telemundo Center in Miami on Friday, June 21, 2019. adiaz@miamiherald.com


The presidential candidate forum, hosted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) at Telemundo Center and moderated by Telemundo reporter Vanessa Hauc, brought together three of the leading candidates for the nomination: U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

Other participants included former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, former Governor John Hickenlooper, U.S. Rep Eric Swalwell, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Julián Castro, secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former mayor of San Antonio, the only Hispanic candidate for president.



“There’s no going back to normal, that we are where we are,” he said. “Because normal let so many people down ... We can’t spend all our time talking about this president ... the more we are talking about him, the less we are talking about you.”

All of the presidential candidates — including Trump — were invited to attend, but just eight accepted, as Arturo Vargas, NALEO’s CEO, pointed out.

Republican National Convention spokesman Rick Gorka said in a statement, that Trump has “ushered in a new thriving era of economic success for Hispanics across the country.”

With the political energy buzzing through Miami, the state’s 2.2 million Hispanic voters have come front and center to the conversations surrounding 2020. Hispanic voters — the state’s fastest-growing voting bloc — make up a significant chunk of the state’s electorate, and nearly two-thirds voted in 2016 for Hillary Clinton.

A recent poll by NALEO Educational Fund and Latino Decisions found that Latinos are following the 2020 election closely, and that more than 8 in 10 (84 percent) of Latino voters are likely or certain to vote in November 2020.

Samantha J. Gross is a politics and policy reporter for the Miami Herald. Before she moved to the Sunshine State, she covered breaking news at the Boston Globe and the Dallas Morning News.
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