Tags: GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Marco Rubio | Jeb Bush | Marco Rubio | hipsanic-outreach adviser | campaign

Bush Campaign Snares Rubio Pal to be Hispanic-Outreach Adviser

By    |   Friday, 01 May 2015 10:59 AM

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's campaign has scored a "good get" with the hiring of Sen. Marco Rubio's longtime friend and 2010 Senate campaign manager, Politico reports.

Bush's Right to Rise political action committee has snared Miami political operative Jose Mallea to be its Hispanic-outreach adviser for Bush's anticipated 2016 presidential bid.

The move is seen as a show of loyalty to Bush, who served two terms as the Sunshine State's governor and has a deep bench of support from influential Hispanic officials and donors.

Mallea's friendship with Rubio dates to 1996, according to Politico, when he worked for Rubio to get Miami voters to the polls during Bob Dole's presidential campaign. He also helped get Rubio elected to the West Miami City Commission and is mentioned in Rubio's autobiography, "American Son."

But despite their shared history, Politico reports that Mallea's allegiance lies with the Bush family.

He worked as a regional field director in Jeb Bush's 1998 gubernatorial campaign and later served as deputy political director for Florida Victory 2000 for the George W. Bush presidential campaign.

Between 2001 and 2005, he held several positions in President George W. Bush's administration, including associate director and White House liaison at the State Department, senior adviser in the State Department's Office of Commercial and Business Affairs, and personal aide to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card.

Mallea is currently the national strategic director for the LIBRE Initiative, a Hispanic-outreach organization, though he is reportedly resigning the post to go to work for Jeb Bush.

Rubio, a Cuban-American who like Bush also calls Miami home, will face a tough opponent in Bush when it comes to winning support in the Sunshine State.

Though Rubio is a popular figure, when faced with a choice, "many more Republican consultants, fundraisers and political operatives" are likely to support Bush, "who built the GOP in their home county and made it a juggernaut in the state before he became governor from 1999-2007," Florida political consultant and lobbyist David Custin told Politico.

"You're going to see a lot of this: guys going to work for Bush who worked for Marco or are even his friends," Custin said. "But Jose is a Jeb guy first, politically. This race between Jeb and Marco is amicable right now – and we'll see how long that lasts – but it will filter out who's really a Marco person and who wasn't really a part of Jeb World. It's going to be very transparent."

Bush has also long enjoyed strong support from coveted Hispanics within Miami-Dade's Hispanic community. U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are backing him and the county's third representative, Carlos Curbelo, is expected to endorse him as well, according to Politico.

In February, The Miami Herald reported that Cuban-American healthcare magnate Mike Fernandez pledged to contribute some $1 million to Bush's PAC at a March fundraiser he was organizing and wanted the event to raise another $4 million.

Fernandez is supporting Bush over Rubio, according to Politico.

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's campaign has scored a "good get" with the hiring of Sen. Marco Rubio's longtime friend and 2010 Senate campaign manager, Politico reports.
Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, hipsanic-outreach adviser, campaign
Friday, 01 May 2015 10:59 AM
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