As part of an ongoing national effort to energize Latino voters the Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN) announced former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez will co-chair HLN’s third regional conference. The Miami event will be held on the eve of Florida’s Republican presidential primary on January 26-27, 2012.
Florida continues to be a pivotal swing state, likely to decide the winner in both the GOP presidential primary and in the 2012 general election, with its 29 electoral votes.
As one of the first primary states with a significant Latino population, over 15% of Florida eligible voters are Hispanic, it will test the GOP candidates ability to connect with a diverse group of voters. Political analysts believe the Republican nominee must win the support of at least 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in order to win the 2012 Presidential election.
Florida’s Latino population has helped secure statewide victories for candidates and will be the key to winning the election. As was the case for George W. Bush in the general election in 2004, John McCain in the primary election in 2008 and Barack Obama in the general election in 2008, who ever wins Florida’s Latino vote, wins the election.
The conference’s timing, a day before the Florida GOP Primary, is aimed to attract Presidential candidates and help them connect with Latino community leaders and conservative Hispanic voters attending the conference. It also rejoins Bush and Gutierrez, who co-chaired HLN’s first conference in January 2011.
“It is a great opportunity to come together and discuss the issues that most affect our community as Americans. Facing an all-time high 11.4 percent unemployment rate, the Hispanic community has been the most affected by the economic downturn,” said Secretary Gutierrez. “Hispanics see the value in a free enterprise system to succeed economically.”
The most important issues for Latino voters continues to be education, jobs and the economy. These issues will take center stage during the two-day Hispanic Leadership Network’s “Inspiring Action” conference at the Doral Hotel and Resort in Miami, FL.
“Hispanics are leading the way to rebuilding America’s dream,” said Jennifer Sevilla-Korn, Hispanic Leadership Network’s Executive Director. “This conference will bring together the Hispanic grassroots community to not only talk about solutions to our nation’s problems, but to put in place a plan of action to make these solutions a reality.”
–This has been cross-posted at RightWingNews.com