GOP opens community centers to woo Hispanic voters
Spanish-speaking volunteers ready to knock on doors, talk about family values, the economy and the rights of the unborn child
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (Border Report) – The Republican National Committee is opening two community centers in New Mexico in an effort to recruit Hispanic voters.
New Mexico Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce dedicated such a center Wednesday in Las Cruces.
“We’re trying to put Republicans in communities where I think we’ve been lax in the past,” Pearce said. “I represented this 2n/a District of New Mexico for 14 years [….] and the national media kept saying, “How does a Republican win (a Hispanic-majority district)?” I said “because I don’t speak Republican or Democrat”. I’m talking about problems, I’m talking about people, I’m talking about your family.
The centers will serve as a gathering place for volunteers to educate voters on the issues. The second center is also set to open in Las Cruces.
New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district is 55% Hispanic and has flipped between Democrats and Republicans in the last two elections. U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-New Mexico, is trying to hold onto a seat that the Democratic state legislature carved out in redistricting. She relies on volunteers like Santiago Soto to deliver her message to Hispanic voters.
“We know it’s hard to win in New Mexico if you don’t have at least a percentage of Democrats voting Republican,” Soto said, recalling how he’s been to communities that are more than 90 percent Hispanic and has got votes for the Republicans. “In 2020, we went there, and we went knocking on doors. We had Spanish speakers, we spoke whatever language – English or Spanish – we needed to get the word out.
Soto said Hispanic voters traditionally identify with the Democratic Party, which has gone through too much change for those who cherish their family values, religion and pro-life views.
“The (Hispanic) Democrats realize their party isn’t like it used to be,” Soto said. “Previously, no questions asked, we will vote Democrat. It’s gone because the party is gone and we’re attracting more and more Democrats to vote Republican. It happened at Sunland Park, it’s happening all over the country.
Sunland Park is a town on the southern edge of New Mexico that is 93% Hispanic. Another predominantly Hispanic district, Texas 34th in South Texas, recently elected a Republican, Mayra Flores, though voters in the area had elected House Democrats for decades before.
Herrell is running for re-election against Democrat Gabe Vasquez, a former Las Cruces City Councilman. Eliseo Luna, another Democrat, has also registered with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office as a write-in candidate for the US House seat.
Herrell said Hispanics should consider voting Republican this time around not just for family values, but because the Democratic-controlled White House and Congress have lost control of the country’s economy and borders.
“Hispanic voters who are registered Democrats, they see that. They don’t need Yvette Herrell to tell them that the Democratic Party has moved away from the traditional parents of their grandparents and parents because they care about the cost of gas, they care about the cost of the grocery store. They are keen for their children to get a great education and fear that their businesses will remain open,” she said.