Opinion

Former congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen joins Miami Herald opinion pages

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen talks Trump and her next adventure

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban American elected to Congress, reflects on her more than 35 years in elected office, why she’s glad she never endorsed Trump and what’s next for the Republican Party.
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U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban American elected to Congress, reflects on her more than 35 years in elected office, why she’s glad she never endorsed Trump and what’s next for the Republican Party.

Recently retired Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is joining the roster of Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald voices on the opinion pages, the media company announced on Thursday.

The veteran of the halls of Congress joins a long list of high-profile Opinion writers, including Leonard Pitts Jr., Carl Hiaasen and Andres Oppenheimer. Beginning in May, she will share her Beltway insider’s perspective with a hometown spin on a monthly column in both English and Spanish.

“Asking Ileana to write for our pages was a no-brainer,” Miami Herald Editorial Page Editor Nancy Ancrum said Thursday at a reception at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. “This is her hometown, which she loves and where she is beloved. Add the depth of her political experience, her ability to make national issues resonate locally and her insights into why things are, and she is a natural for the Herald and el Nuevo’s opinion pages.”

“Our publications don’t just provide readers with news and information; it’s not a one-way street. We also offer a forum for the exchange of ideas and community engagement, and that’s exactly why we’re here tonight,” Aminda Marqués González, the new president and publisher of the Miami Herald Media Company, said at the gathering. “These types of events help get people involved in the issues that affect us right here at home, and provide a voice for change. And when you think that lawmakers in Tallahassee and D.C. aren’t listening, trust me, they are. Just ask Ileana.”

U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen gives statements regarding her leaving Congress during her press conference.

The former lawmaker, who stepped down from her seat after serving nearly 30 years in the nation’s Capitol, preceded by almost seven years in the state Legislature, has been part of many firsts: She was the first Cuban American elected to Congress. In the early part of her political career, she was the first Hispanic woman elected to the Florida House and then the Florida Senate.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Miami Herald/el Nuevo family because this has been the paper of my hometown,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “It feels really good to know that I will be adding to the many voices that are heard everyday in our daily publications.”

“I’m looking forward to handling international, national and local issues, with a little mojito flavor,” she added.

Her monthly columns in the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald will touch on topics of relevance to readers: the 2020 presidential election, Cuba, Venezuela, Israel, immigration, economics, the environment, LGBTQ issues and more.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, her husband, Dexter Lehtinen, and their transgender son, Rodrigo, launch a "Family is Everything" campaign with LGBT-rights group SAVE on Monday, May 16, 2016, at Miami Dade College.

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