On Monday, the RNC announced that New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez will be a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention later this month. Martinez is the first Hispanic woman to become a governor in the U.S., and she’s the first woman to become a governor in New Mexico.
And on Wednesday, it was announced that Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño and Senate nominee Ted Cruz (Texas) will also be speaking at the 2012 convention in Tampa, Florida. And Florida Senator Rubio may be speaking at the convention as well, but his role at the event hasn’t been formally announced.
This week’s announcements by the RNC comes a week after the Democratic National Committee announced that it would have San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro featured as the keynote speaker at its convention. This will be the first time that a Latino takes on that role at the Democratic National Convention.
The Republican Party is flexing is muscle with its high profile Latinos who will take the stage and address party delegates. This gives the RNC an opportunity to show off key Latino leaders within its ranks. The Democrats cannot count any Latino governors within its current leadership, and in the Senate, there is only one Latino Democrat for now, Robert Menendez of New Jersey. The Democrats do have an opportunity to add an additional Latino in the Senate should Richard Carmona succeed in Arizona.
Featuring prominent Latinos at the RNC in key speaker slots will also give the GOP an opportunity to do more outreach to this key constituency that has been leaning left politically. And the announcement of Latino speakers at the RNC highlights the significance of the Latino vote in the current election cycle.