Only four days left to the Election-Day finish. Drilling down to the Latino community, what’s the ground game look like for the Puerto Rican community? Many political events center around Kissimmee, in Osceola County, a nod to what is considered the heart of Central Florida’s Puerto Rican community. Kissimmee also has become the center for the fierce battle for Florida’s Puerto Rican vote.
Here’s a glimpse:
- To get out the Puerto Rican vote for Democrat Stephanie Murphy, New York Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez on Thursday was campaigning for Murphy, who is vying to oust long-term Republican Cong. John Mica. Polls indicate the fight for Congressional District 7 is a dead heat and Democrats are pouncing, spending more than $5 million on Murphy’s campaign. The congressional district was redrawn in the last redistricting, making it more Democrat. It now includes part of Orange and Volusia counties, including Deltona, which is about a third Hispanic. Overall, District 7 is about 20 percent Latino
- The day before Velázquez was at a Puerto Rican unity event in Orlando with former Puerto Rico Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock. “This election is going to be decided right here,” Velázquez said, to applause. “You could make the difference in deciding who becomes the next president of the United States.”
- New York City Council President Melissa Mark Viverito was in Orlando to motivate Puerto Rican voters at Oh Que Bueno restaurant and on Spanish-language radio.
- John Mica, meanwhile, rolled out his Hispanic endorsements, including former Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, who is not well regarded by many Puerto Ricans. Fortuño, you may recall, held a major event in Orlando in 2012 to endorse Mitt Romney for president. It did little good as the Puerto Rican vote went to Obama – and that was while Fortuño was a sitting governor.
- Florida Politics reporter Scott Powers reports that Donald Trump held a roundtable with Puerto Rican leaders in Orlando. Powers, the press pool reporter for the event, was not allowed to actually sit in on the meeting, except for a photo op. Didn’t seem as if there were a lot of people in attendance.
- Que Vote Mi Gente this week held a Twitter chat together with Momsrising.org aimed at Latinas.
- Today, November 4, Sen. Marco Rubio is scheduled to hold a get-out-the-vote rally in Kissimmee, the heart of the Puerto Rican community. A week or so ago Rubio conducted a meeting with local Puerto Rican leaders about the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s finances but it was sponsored by the Puerto Rican Bar Association, not a campaign event.
- The last Boricua Vota caravana is set for Saturday at 3
p.m., heading out from Fortune Road in Kissimmee. It’s a block party on wheels as a caravan of cars cruise the streets to make some noise and engage voters.
- The Desfile Puertorriqueño de Florida (Puerto Rican Day Parade) is scheduled for Sunday in Kissimmee, where many elected officials and/or candidates on the ballot likely may show up for their photo op.
- President Barack Obama opens up election week with a rally for Hillary Clinton at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee on Sunday, starting at 1:30 p.m., yet another sign of the contest for Florida’s Puerto Rican and Hispanic vote.
Watch for my next posting about the voting numbers thus far.
˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor