Are new Sunshine State Latino License Plates a Political Trick?
In April of this year, the then Republican Governor of Florida Charlie Crist announced his intention to run for the United States Senate. Although he had been the stronghold of the Republican party’s presence in the Sunshine State, support from the GOP for the November elections seemed uncertain. On May 29, Governor Crist announced that he was going to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent.
On the other hand, the former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio has been endorsed by some of the most influential members of the Republican Party. As of today, Rubio has received the support of Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney. Rubio not only has the support of the most prominent figures in the GOP, but also the support of one of the most politically influential groups in Florida: Cuban Americans.
While the vote of Cuban Americans from South Florida has been pivotal in deciding the outcomes of past elections in the state, the Hispanic support for this year’s Senate elections seems to be less clear. It is possible to argue that Marco Rubio’s background (Cuban American guy with an excellent command of the Spanish language and a conspicuous Hispanic last name) may be appealing to the almost 4 million Hispanics that reside in Florida. However, the Hispanic vote is up for grabs.
On June 22, Gov. Crist signed House Bill 971 that creates the first Hispanic-themed license plate. This initiative is aimed at celebrating Hispanic contributions to the Sunshine State and its proceeds will be destined to help non-profit organizations that benefit Hispanics and other minorities in the State of Florida. Is this an honest and genuine gesture of Gov. Crist to the Hispanic population of the Sunshine State or is this one more trick to win the vote of such influential demographic?
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