Immigrant Crisis Backlash Hits Florida

An anti immigrant protest in Brevard County,
where 12 immigrant children will be placed in foster homes. /
Fox News 35

María T. Padilla

The crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the nation's southwestern border is happening thousands of miles from Florida, but its impact is beginning to cause waves here. 

Last week, Hope Community Center in Apopka felt compelled to put out a press release, available on its website, clarifying that it is "not a processing center or housing facility for unaccompanied minors from Central America," after local TV news implied as much.  

"We are not accepting children," explained David Crump, director of operations for Hope, in an interview with Orlando Latino. "We are assisting people in the community."
A bikers group staged a protest in front of Hope during a health fair earlier this week,  demanding that immigrants be sent back home. 


The Headache of the August Primary

Vote Local town hall in East Orange tackles the subject
of low voter turnout in off presidential year elections.
/Maria Padilla

María T. Padilla

Voter registration ends on July 28 to be able to vote in the August 26 primary but chances are high that many Hispanic voters will ignore this election.

The primary is the election that decides many things, for instance, who your November candidates are going to be in races in which there are two or more people of the same political party.  

Voters affiliated with a political party have an important say in that choice.  However, it's likely that the majority of Hispanics won't turn out to vote, according to prior elections data, even though their vote is likely to count more in a primary. 

It's obvious, but bears repeating, that only people who vote determine the outcome of an election, and that is more so in a midterm election year, a year in which the White House is not up for grabs. Because fewer people vote in a midterm election, the vote of those who do is amplified. 

"Who ever said that their votes don't count is the greatest trick ever pulled," said a participant at a recent town hall meeting in east Orange County organized by Vote Local, a progressive group. Other participating groups were Main Street Coalition, Florida New Majority, Organize Now and Mi Familia Vota. All are progressive groups.


Crist Introduces Running Mate Taddeo to Central Florida

Charlie Crist together with running mate Annette Taddeo
and state Rep. Víctor Torres.
/Maria Padilla

María T. Padilla

Charlie Crist chose Orlando as his first swing stop in Central Florida with new Hispanic lieutenant governor-running mate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein

Crist, the former and if he has his way future governor,  and Taddeo arrived at La Lechonera El Barrio in Azalea Park for a meet-and-greet with Hispanics. Waiting for him were about four dozen Hispanics, including many Democratic candidates for local office, such as state Rep. Víctor Torres, who represents Azalea Park; Tiffany Moore-Russell, candidate or Orange County Clerk of the Court; Euri Cerrud, candidate for Orange County District 4; and Julio Rocha, candidate for Orange County School Board, District 3.

"Great to be here with Annette Taddeo, who will make a great lieutenant governor," said Crist.


Candidate Survey: David García After Osceola District 2

David García is a contender for Osceola District 2.

María T. Padilla

The campaign to win Osceola County Commission District 2 includes a crowded field of five contenders, including two-term incumbent John Quiñones.   A heavily Democratic district, District 2 includes Buenaventura Lakes, which is about 70 percent Hispanic. 

Orlando Latino previously published candidate surveys of Democratic candidates Viviana Janer  (July 6) and Romuald José Leydón (July 9). Today, we highlight Republican candidate David García, a high school teacher at Heritage Christian School, who previously was a corrections officer.  

García, along with former Osceola School Board member Julius Meléndez,  is forcing Quiñones into the August 26 primary elections. 

The primary will shake out the crowded field, leaving the two strongest vote-getters to face off in November.

 Click below for the interview with García. 


Elections Money Trail Part 2 – Local Races

Candidates should spend four hours a day asking for money.
Maria T. Padilla 

It takes less money to run a local political race compared with a statewide campaign. Still, getting voters to dig into their pockets is not easy. 

Best campaign practices state that candidates should spend four hours a day asking for money. That's half a work day – each day – of dialing for dollars, often for small amounts. The campaign contribution limit is $1,000, but local candidates, especially Hispanic ones, often get much less than that, under $50.  Fundraising can be exhausting and humbling. But somebody's got to do it, preferably the candidate.

Here again, local incumbents outdo competitors in the fundraising competition. They have the power of office to deliver to their constituents, especially large donors. As mentioned in The Money Trail Part 1, the planets often align to keep incumbents in their posts, even stinky ones. First, because voters may fear change. And, second, and probably as important, voters may think the devil you know may be better than the devil you don't. 

Click below to get a look at how well Hispanic candidates in Orange County are faring at fundraising. All information was obtained from the latest campaign reports filed with  Orange County Supervisor of ElectionsComing soon: local Hispanic candidates in Osceola.