(WTVR) A huge push is underway to reel in Latino voters, and the Republican National Committee said it’s going to pull out all the stops.
This week the RNC announced it has hired six Hispanic Outreach Directors in key battleground states, including Virginia.
The Hispanic population is growing tremendously and leaders said that the numbers have almost doubled in the past ten years here in Virginia. Latino voters said it’s not a surprise that the RNC wants to zero in on their vote. A vote they believe will be critical in the upcoming election.
There are fifty-million Latinos like Aida Pacheco in the United States. She believes there’s power in numbers and hopes Latinos push their concerns and harness that power at the polls.
“We are a growing population and we are concerned about issues like the Dream Act and secondly, health care,” said Pacheco. “We’re also concerned about leaders and their policies relative to how we treat newcomers to Virginia.”
She said it’s good to know the RNC realizes how important the vote is in the Latino community.
As for the group hiring those Hispanic Outreach Directors, she said “I’m surprised that they haven’t done it sooner.”
“It doesn’t surprise me because Obama received more than 52 percent of the Latino vote and they know this, so they want to beef that up,” said Pacheco.
In a statement, the RNC chairman said their goal is;
“To recruit and engage activists in these communities by bringing the Republican message of economic security. We are going to be building support within the communities at the grassroots level by engaging people where they work and live. We are going to engage Hispanics and Latinos like we have never done before at the RNC.”
Michel Zajur, who runs the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said that no party should underestimate Latino voters.
“I think the Hispanic vote is up for grabs here in Virginia and whoever does a better job of marketing and outreach into this community is going to be the winner in a big way, " said Zajur.
As part of the RNC’s efforts to pull in Latino voters, it’s hiring outreach directors in other key battleground states like Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and North Carolina.
Jaime Areizaga-Soto, President of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia spoke about his party’s effort to secure the Latino vote:
"The Democratic Party of Virginia, the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia and our campaigns are already working hard to ensure that Latinos and all Virginians are aware that President Obama, Tim Kaine and Democrats in every corner of the Commonwealth are fighting for more jobs, better schools and greater opportunities for all Virginia families to thrive here.
He also mentioned that Virginia Democrats are planning an unprecedented effort to register more voters, engage more grassroots activists and bring more people out to the polls than ever before.
“…In the Latino community that means getting the word out now that our voice is our vote and we must speak up for Democratic leaders who have the best interests of our families at heart,” said Areizaga-Soto.