House Republicans announce fundraising effort to boost Latino members

‘One, it’s going to raise a hell of a lot of money, right? We’re talking millions, right?’ says one GOP member

Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, flanked by Rep. Tony Gonzales, left, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, holds a news conference to announce the formation of the Hispanic Leadership Trust at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, flanked by Rep. Tony Gonzales, left, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, holds a news conference to announce the formation of the Hispanic Leadership Trust at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted May 17, 2022 at 2:28pm

House Republicans on Tuesday announced a new fundraising effort to grow the number of conservative Hispanic members in Congress.

Of the Hispanic members in the House, 29 are Democrats and 10 are Republicans. The Hispanic Leadership Trust, a political action committee, seeks to raise a great deal of money to bolster those numbers and help facilitate mentorship among candidates.

“One, it’s going to raise a hell of a lot of money, right? We’re talking millions, right? Because you need money,” said Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas. “You need resources in order to: one, protect the members that we have up here, but two, grow in areas that we need. That’s one, but it’s not just going to be about resources. It’s going to be about mentorship.”

Gonzales, who was first elected in 2020, said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy helped him and other Latino members get elected that cycle, including Reps. Maria Elvíra Salazar of Florida and Mike Garcia of California. This political fundraising initiative intends to build on those accomplishments, he said.

“You know, Kevin’s been pushing this — how do we get more Hispanic members of Congress? How do we get more women? How do we get more veterans? Today, the Hispanic Leadership Trust just organizes that a little bit more, and it’s very exciting.”

Gonzales mentioned supporting and mentoring candidates like Mayra Flores and Monica De La Cruz, both of whom are running in Texas, and Juan Ciscomani in Arizona. Part of this effort includes getting them up to speed on policy through actions like border trips so that if Republicans claim the House majority in November, those new members will be well prepared to combat Democratic policies with which Republicans disagree.

As part of the effort, Gonzales mentioned traveling over the weekend to Texas’ 34th District, where Flores is running in an upcoming special election on June 14. Flores was born in Burgos Tamaulipas, Mexico, and emigrated to the United States at age 6. Gonzales said it was important to get out in person to towns like Weslaco, Texas, to campaign with Flores. 

Flores said she is “proud” to be standing with the Republican Party and noted that “we’re finally investing in the Hispanic community and I’m truly grateful to every single one of you for believing in me and believing in the Hispanic community.”

Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., said the Democrats took Hispanic voters “for granted” for years by moving their policies further left.

“And what’s happened now is that Hispanics have now, you know, awoken to the fact that we do represent their values. We are about God. We’re about family. We’re about opportunity, rule of law. And that’s the Republican Party,” he said.