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Jeb Bush announces 228-member Hispanic Leadership Committee

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Among the assets that still make Jeb Bush a formidable general election candidate is his ease and connection with the Latino community, something that no other Republican brings to the table.

Illustrating that connection is the Bush campaign’s announcement on Thursday of his Hispanic leadership committee, consisting of 228 people spread out over 20 states, as well as in Puerto Rico.

“I’m honored to have these great Hispanic men and women join the fight for all American families, working to lower taxes and reduce regulations that make it harder for us to grow the economy and give people the opportunities they deserve,” said Bush in a prepared statement. “Together we will work to engage every Hispanic voter.”

Not surprisingly, a lot of them are from Florida — 33 in all.

Among the bold-face names representing the Sunshine State are Al Cardenas, Carlos Curbelo, Raoul Cantero, Frank Artiles, Mel Martinez, Ana Navarro, J.C. Planas, Illena Ros-Lehtinen, Erik Fresen, and Anitere Flores.

Flores, a Florida state senator representing Miami, is being used as one of the campaign’s Spanish-language media surrogates and has offered herself to the campaign as someone who can travel to states like Nevada and North Carolina to stump for the former Florida governor.

“The people from Florida can give the best, firsthand experience and testimonial of these were the challenges when Gov. Bush came into office and these were the ways that he solved them,” Flores tells BuzzFeed.

While Bush is struggling in the polls behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson, he is doing well with Latino voters. In an ABC News-Washington Post poll published last month, Bush actually received a higher favorable number  from Hispanics — 43 percent — than from whites, where he received 39 percent support.

Bush speaks fluent Spanish, earned a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas, and spent three years after college working in Venezuela. And, of course, he is married to a Latina, Columba.

The leader in the GOP presidential sweepstakes at the moment, Trump, is loathed by Latinos nationally, not surprisingly after his comments back when he got into the race about undocumented immigrants being rapists. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll shows only 3 percent viewing him as “very positively,” with 72 percent viewing him negatively.

Here’s the entire list of Jeb Bush’s committee :

Jose Abreu Florida

Raul Acosta New York

Armando Adame Texas

Eduardo Aguirre Texas

Marta Aguirre Bascom Virginia

Kristen Alexander Nevada

Alberto Alfonso Florida

Carlos Alfonso Florida

Jose Aliaga Michigan

Luis Alvarado DC

Cesar Alvarez Florida

Ramon Alvarez California

Ruben Alvarez Arizona

John Andrews Virginia

George Antuna Texas

Milton Aponte Florida

Luis Felipe Aragon California

Victor Arias, Jr. Texas

Jorge Arrizurieta Florida

Frank Artiles Florida

Andres Asion Florida

Irela Bague Florida

Ruben Barrales California

Hector Barreto DC

Elias Behar-Ybarra Puerto Rico

Gary Berrios Florida

Rudy Beserra Georgia

Blanca Bichara Florida

Othal Brand, Jr. Texas

Romero Britto Florida

Victor Cabral Virginia

Tony Calatayud Florida

Roger Campos Maryland

Raoul Cantero Florida

Alberto Cardenas Florida

Jovita Carranza Illinois

Jose Carrion Puerto Rico

Elijah Casa Texas

Mario Castillo DC

Sharon Castillo Maryland

Julio Cerda Texas

Charles Cervantes Virginia

Linda Chavez Virginia

Mariela Chavez-Knapp Texas

Adriana Comellas-Macretti Florida

Bob Cortes Florida

John Cruz California

Rafael Cuellar New Jersey

Carlos Curbelo Florida

Maria Davis Nevada

Moises De Jesus New York

Berthy De La Rosa Aponte Florida

Deborah DeMoss Fonseca Virginia

Jose Felix Diaz Florida

Lincoln Diaz-Balart Florida

Mario Diaz-Balart Florida

Daniel Diaz-Leyva Florida

Remedios Diaz-Oliver Florida

Manny Diaz, Jr. Florida

Doreen DominguezCalifornia

Susana Duarte Indiana

Oscar Echevarria Virginia

Aurora Espinosa Nevada

Juan G. Espinosa New Jersey

Luis Farias California

Mike Fernandez Florida

Rudy Fernandez Florida

Dr. Maurice R. Ferrer Florida

Andreina Figueroa Florida

Tony Fiorina Texas

Anitere Flores Florida

Rafael Flores New York

Alan Florez Florida

Jaime Fonalledas Puerto Rico

Zori Fonalledas Puerto Rico

Rene Fonseca Virginia

Luis Fortuno Puerto Rico

Blanca Fox Nevada

Adriana Fralick Nevada

Erik Fresen Florida

Denis Freytes Florida

Dennis Freytes Florida

Elizabeth Gallagher Nevada

Ivan Gamboa Wisconsin

Charlie Garcia Florida

Martin Garcia Florida

Rudy Garcia Florida

Diedra Garcia Colorado

Jimmy Garza Texas

Martha Gautier Hawaii

Luis Andre Gazitua Florida

Carlos Gimenez Florida

Jennifer Gonzalez Puerto Rico

David Griego Nevada

Julio Gudino California

Abel Guerra Texas

Frank Guerra Texas

Allen Gutierrez DC

Sam Gutierrez Illinois

Joseph Guzman Michigan

Anita Guzman Michigan

Jacqueline Guzman Michigan

Peter Guzman Nevada

Anibal Heredia Puerto Rico

Maggie Hernandez California

Joe Hernandez Nevada

Daniel Hernandez Texas

Joacim Hernandez Texas

Dr. Juan Hernandez Texas

George Herrarte California

Hans Hertell New York

Hans Hertell, Jr. Florida

Ocatavio Hinojosa-Mier Texas

Jim Jimenez Florida

Hector Lombana Florida

Emanuel Loo Texas

Danny Lopez Indiana

JM Lozano Texas

Gus Machado Florida

Raul Magdaleno Texas

Carmen Mahan Nevada

Mitch Maidique Florida

Abel Maldonado California

Alci Maldonado Florida

Yuri Mantilla Virginia

Jesse Manzano Florida

Marcos Marchena Florida

Krissian Marquez Nevada

Jesus Marquez Nevada

Mel Martinez Florida

Sandra Martinez Nevada

Troy Martinez Nevada

Gil Medina New Jersey

Sonia Medina Texas

Otto Merida Nevada

Damian Merlo Florida

Jose Mier Llaca Iowa

Maria Mier Llaca Iowa

Leticia Mitchell Nevada

Jaime A. Molera Arizona

Al Moncada California

Diana Monsivais Nevada

Jacob Monty Texas

Rosa Morales Nevada

Alberto Morales Puerto Rico

Darryl Morin Wisconsin

Angela Morin Wisconsin

Rafa Munguia Texas

Artemio Muniz Texas

Armando Musa New York

Ana Navarro Florida

Xavier Neira Oklahoma

Jose Nino Texas

Dr. Antonia Novello Florida

Jose Oliva Florida

David Olivencia Indiana

Yesenia Olivencia Indiana

Ken Oliver-Mendez Virginia

Steve Orlando Illinois

Jorge Ortega Florida

Izzy Ortega Tennessee

Alfredo Ortiz Georgia

Umram Osambela Nevada

Nina Oviedo Virginia

Manny Padilla California

Barry Patel Texas

Elsa Patterson Nevada

Sandy Peltyn Nevada

Aron Pena Texas

Roberto Peña Gonzalez Texas

Rafael Penalver Florida

Tico Perez Florida

Dr. Nolan Perez Texas

Charles “Carlos” Perez Virginia

JC Planas Florida

Jason Poblete Virginia

Yleem Poblete Virginia

Michael Pruneda Texas

Ana Quinquoces Florida

Miriam Ramirez Florida/Puerto Rico

Carol Ramirez Maryland

Esther Ramirez Maryland

Henry Ramirez Maryland

Teresa Ramirez Nevada

Mario Ramirez Texas

Alfred “Al” Rascon Maryland

Israel “Izzy” Reyes Florida

Fernando Reyes Texas

Ivonne Richardson Nevada

Diana Richardson-Vela California

Josue Rivera Puerto Rico

Julio Robaina Florida

Reynaldo Robledo Nevada

Mario Rodriguez California

Raquel “Rocky” Rodriguez Florida

Zues Rodriguez Wisconsin

Fernando Romero Nevada

Jeny Romero Nevada

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Florida

Marlene Rosado California

Manuel “Manny” Rosales DC

Juan Sabater New York

Charlie Safdie Florida

Norberto “Beto” Salinas Texas

Grace Sanchez-Hagen California

Isabel “Izzy” Santa Virginia

Brandon Schneider Maryland

Madeleine Serrano Florida

Walde Serrano Florida

Jerry Silva California

William Solemene Texas

Lionel Sosa Texas

Theresa Speake Virginia

Cecilia Strieber Nevada

Mauricio Tamargo Virginia

Margita Thompson California

Warren Tischner Texas

Adriana Toscano Nevada

Sol Trujillo Florida

Carlos Trujillo Florida

Omar Vargas Connecticut

Luce Vela Puerto Rico

Eduardo Verastegui California

Marielena Villami Florida

Tony Villamil Florida

Rudy Yakym III Indiana

Al Zapanta Texas

Fernando Zapari Indiana

Minerva Zermeno California

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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