The First Latino Presidential Candidate was Republican
By Franklin Gonzalez
January 18, 2019
The first Latino Presidential candidate was Benjamin Fernandez, First Chairman and Founder of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. Benjamin ‘Ben’ Fernandez was an American politician, financial consultant and special ambassador. He was a Republican leader and ran for President of the United States three times. Once in 1980 and again in 1984 and 1988, making him America’s first major-party presidential contender of Hispanic origin. According to the LA Times, Fernandez’ status as the first Hispanic Presidential candidate was largely forgotten in subsequent decades; when New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, running in 2008, declared himself to be the first ever Hispanic candidate, his statement went mostly uncorrected. Until now.
This might be a revelation to some but many members of the RNHA are fully aware of this historical fact. A fact which for a long time has gone undisputed according to Wikipedia’s page. The Republican National Hispanic Assembly claims this status in our organization with pride because of what it means for Hispanic Conservatism. We are the leaders in our Hispanic communities. We rose the standards and continue to set the bar for Hispanic excellence.
Fernandez was born in Kansas to Mexican parents who were illegal immigrants. He served in World War II, then began a successful business career. He began to get involved with politics in the late 1960s, co-founding the Republican National Hispanic Council and serving as a fundraiser for Republican candidates starting with President Richard Nixon in 1972. In 1973, Nixon appointed him Special Ambassador to Paraguay.
The RNHA is proud to share this news because it really highlights the rich history of our organization and its strength in leadership. In today’s highly contested world of politics and emphasis on identity politics, it is great to witness a historic event like being the first minority group to achieve a very sought after title. But don’t hold your breath for the Democrat party to rush and applaud this great achievement of Latino prominence, because Ben Fernandez was Republican. Anything that a Republican does or accomplishes is immediately tainted and undeserving of praise, even if they’re of minority descent. Isn’t the left the party of immigrants and minorities?
This fact in history only emboldens the RNHA’s members to ponder their next step in politics. Many leaders are currently already setting the stage for this generation of Latino voices. As Patriots, Proud Latinos and Proud Americans we must fight to be heard and break the brainwashing that has long plagued our people. For far too long we’ve waited and stood quiet waiting for others to “help us” and take the lead. That era ends now and we will represent our Latino communities the best way we see fit. By Latinos for Latinos, Hispanics United!
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Franklin Gonzalez is the National Press Secretary of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and the NY State Chairman. He works with the NY MAGA movement to organize change in New York City. Frank has strong conservative beliefs, values the Republican Party and works to expand the reach of the GOP to Latino and minority communities.