Senate races

Hispanic GOP Senate hopeful pushes back against celeb letter

Republican Senate hopeful and Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera has written an open letter to the Hispanic community defending Republican values after a group of celebrities bashed the party’s presidential field in its own letter.

López-Cantera, the state’s highest ranking Republican, whose family came to America as Cuban refugees, says he’s “offended” by the letter “supported by a liberal group with a liberal agenda” in his response provided exclusively to The Hill

{mosads}”It has been because of Republican policies for greater choice and accountability in education that more Hispanic children are receiving a better education. It’s because of Republican leadership that more minorities are pursuing higher education. And it’s because of Republican policies that more Hispanics trust our states’ economic climate and are taking the risk to open-up small businesses,” he writes.

“As the son and grandson of refugees who came to America, I have seen this firsthand. When my family got to America, they knew that, if they worked hard, America would allow them to achieve the American Dream. It was not a guarantee, they had to earn it, but it was possible.”

He argues that “liberal elites and Democratic Party elders want all Hispanics to fall into a monolithic liberal agenda.” But in his mind, the values held by Hispanic families are “more in line with the ideals that the GP promotes and defends.”

López-Cantera is running in a crowded Senate primary to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Marco Rubio, who is running for president. Reps. David Jolly and Ron DeSantis are also running, as is businessman Todd Wilcox.

The response comes days after a letter from Hispanic celebrities posted by the liberal advocacy organization People for the American Way accused the GOP presidential field of “capitalizing on negative stereotypes and inaccurate information about our community.” The group of signers includes musician Carlos Santana, actresses Aubrey Plaza and Zoe Saldana, and actor Benjamin Bratt.

That letter specifically chide’s party front-runner Donald Trump’s “xenophobia” as well as “extreme policies” of all of the candidates in ruling out a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

López-Cantera did not address any specifics but noted that he does not agree with nor defend “every piece of rhetoric from every Republican candidate that runs for office,” just as he believes Democrats do not either.

Tags Carlos Lopez-Cantera Donald Trump Marco Rubio

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