In an effort to court the crucial Latino vote, this week GOP Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman named Ana Navarro, a Miami-based Republican strategist and GOP fundraiser, as his National Hispanic Chairperson.
Navarro’s appointment was made during a Miami press conference on Wednesday, billed as a “major announcement” to highlight the endorsement of Jeb Bush Jr., the son of the popular Florida Governor.
Navarro, who co-chaired John McCain’s Hispanic outreach in 2008, is a hard-hitting GOP operative, a seasoned surrogate, who is focused on getting results. While the Huntsman campaign has been slow to gain traction in the polls, Navarro can serve a pivotal role by securing support among Hispanics. Especially in Florida, Latino voters have served as a key voting block for victorious campaigns including President George W. Bush (56%), President Barack Obama (57%) and most recently for Governor Rick Scott (50%) in 2010.
In addition to announcing his new endorsements, Huntsman articulated his Cuba policy. Huntsman said he backs the sanctions and embargo against Cuba. Watch the video for more:
Discussing his support for Huntsman and the candidates’ fiscal policies, Jeb Bush Jr. stated “…between the ages of 20-30, this generation we are going to spend the rest of our life paying for your debts… We need people with substantiate policies and with great ideas to come out and put policies in place to lead my kids’ generation out of this debt.”
As the head of Huntsman’s “GenH” efforts targeting young voters Jeb Bush Jr. will have to continue discussing the failing economy and its impact on American’s youth and young professionals. Many believe the GOP can capture the youth vote in 2012.
A Pew Research Center found that the percentage of voters ages 18-29 identifying as Democrats shrunk from 62 percent in 2008 to 54 percent by the end of 2009, while those identifying as Republicans increased from 30 percent to 40 percent.
Various parallels exist between young Americans and the emerging Latino voting block, whose median age is 27 years old. Recent data shows that young Latino voters are open to conservative messages, especially in regards to limited government.
Bush Jr.: An Emerging Voice Among Latino Youth
Navarro: A Spit Fire Republican Latina
Ana Navarro has been involved with GOP politics for most of her professional life. An online biography of Ana Navarro described her as:
Ana Navarro was born in Nicaragua. In 1980, at age 8 and as a result of the Sandinista revolution in their native country, she and her family immigrated to the United States and resettled in Miami.
Ms. Navarro is a graduate of the University of Miami. In 1993, she obtained her bachelor in arts degree with majors in Latin American studies and political science. She obtained a juris doctorate in 1997. She has expertise on Latin American and Hispanic issues.
In 1997, she was a special advisor to the government of Nicaragua and in that role, she was one of the primary advocates for NACARA, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act. In 1998, at the request of then-gubernatorial candidate Jeb Bush, she was part of a three-person team that advocated and eventually won passage of HARIFA, the Haitian Refugee and Immigration Fairness Act.
She served on Gov. Jeb Bush’s transition team and was briefly director of immigration policy in the executive office of the governor.
In 1999, she returned to the private sector and has represented private and public clients on federal issues, particularly related to immigration, trade, and policy affecting Central America.
In 2001, she served as ambassador to the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission and helped bring about a condemnation of the government of Cuba for human rights abuses.
She served as the national co-chair of John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council and was a frequent national press and speaking surrogate for the McCain 2008 campaign and often traveled with Sen. McCain during the campaign. She also has played a role in several local and state races in Florida, including the congressional races of Congressmen Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. She is regarded as a Republican political strategist, with particular expertise on Florida and Hispanic politics.
She has served on the board of the National Immigration Forum, South Florida Boys Scouts, Florida FTAA, and currently serves on the Miami Dade College Foundation and Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, or FIAC