WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador involved himself in the race for U.S. president by urging Florida voters not to support Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Obrador said DeSantis is playing politics with migrants and hopes Hispanics in Florida don’t give him a single vote.
The unusual statement also seems to be met with some skepticism in South Florida.
“I think that his criticism of DeSantis, for DeSantis, is like an endorsement,” Jorge Garrido, of the nonpartisan group Hispanic Vote of Palm Beach County, told WPTV.
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Over the last few election cycles, Hispanic voters have become more important to candidates.
DeSantis successfully courted the Cuban vote in Miami-Dade County on his way to winning reelection last November.
“I wish that Hispanic voters would understand what the governor just did when we passed the immigration law,” state Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, said. “It is a very anti-immigrant bill.”
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“I think it’s going to be important more for the Republicans,” Peter Feaman, of the Republican National Committee, opined. “I don’t think the Democrats or the Democrat Party understands that this open border policy is not favored by Hispanic voters who came here legally.”
Garrido said immigration is only one issue, and Hispanic voters from Cuba, South America and Central America all have different experiences and issues.
“Uniting the Hispanic vote behind one political party is not something that’s going to be possible,” Garrido said.