Florida House Candidate: GOP Must Attract Latinos

Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010 11:51 AM

By Dan Weil

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Francisco Rodriguez, a conservative Republican candidate for the Florida House, says the GOP must reach out more to Latinos to draw them away from voting Democratic.

“Republicans need to make sure Latinos get to keep the money they earn, because they work hard for it just like anyone else,” he told Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella.

“They need to have good family values, because Latinos are very family oriented, and they need to run Latinos for office, because they connect well with their own.”

See Video: Francisco Rodriguez: Legislators Represent Individuals, Not Groups -- Click Here

Rodriguez, who lives in Jupiter, is running in District 83. The former biology major is the manager of science and research for a local nutritional supplement company.

He also is on the advisory board for the West Palm Beach chapter of the James Madison Institute, a free-market think tank.

The main reason why Latinos skew Democratic, Rodriguez says, is their strong support for Social Security, Medicare and education.

“Those are three of the main areas that Democrats are focused on,” he said. “They’re going to give them those things more than Republicans.”

So how should the GOP respond? “We need to communicate more effectively as Republicans that we’re dealing with free-market ideas in all of those categories and how that can benefit them and their children,” Rodriguez said.

In Florida’s Republican U.S. Senate primary between Gov. Charlie Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, Rodriguez says he’s leaning toward Rubio, though he doesn’t want to make a formal endorsement yet.

Rodriguez likes Rubio for his commitment to constitutional principles.

“He and I may disagree on a few issues, but out of those two, he may be doing the best job on the principles of constitutional government.”

While Rodriguez calls himself a conservative, he notes that “no one takes an oath of office to the conservative anything. You take an oath of office to the Constitution, so I think that’s more important.”

In addition to the Constitution, Rodriguez stresses his devotion to free markets.

The government doesn’t really give money away, Rodriguez says. “It only takes and gives to somebody else. My hope is that I can help people keep more of the money they earn every day to do the good they believe in.”

See Video: Francisco Rodriguez: Legislators Represent Individuals, Not Groups -- Click Here

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