I attended an inaugural meeting for a newly formed Republican club in our county this week and was introduced at the end of the meeting as being affiliated with the Republican National Hispanic Assembly in my county. I briefly discussed upcoming meetings and events for the local and state chapter before taking my seat. As I was reflecting on the meeting the following day, I decided to look at our local party website to see what other clubs I could engage with that might know people who would like to join our club and grow the Hispanic club membership. To my surprise, our club was not even listed as an affiliated group. Not only has our Duval chapter been chartered in the county for months, but the current Republican Party Chair was a speaker at one of the meetings in February. What gives?
A club that is listed, however, is a Cuban American club that doesn’t even have an active membership or forms. Why is that? Why has the Republican National Hispanic Assembly in Duval been sidelined? And why has this shadow Cuban American Club not received support from the GOP with the basics of even obtaining membership forms or a basic social media presence? The only Cuban American club I found listed in Jacksonville was a local nightclub.
In a county that gave the presidency to a Democrat for the first time since 1976, you would think more support would be given to minority groups where the GOP lacks in voter registration. Our party does not entertain identity politics, but numbers don’t lie.
Between December 2020 and August 2021, our voter registration numbers for Hispanics in Duval County have not increased or even maintained. They have instead decreased.
This is ironic, but it is no secret to Hispanics that we are a culture that trends conservative and we do not want the liberal social values pushed onto our children. Thus the Biden administration will push a lot of voters into our camp, but that can’t be the end of it. We must make sure their feelings turn into conservative votes.
If the perception exists that there is no support from our local party for Hispanic clubs then why would that voter demographic feel that conservatives truly care to have their vote and support?
It seems we are concentrating our message in a local echo chamber and that is why we need to expand our message to a more diverse Hispanic community than just Cuban Americans.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. There is an opportunity to increase minority voter registrations in our county and our party. The Republican National Hispanic Assembly and the local chapter in Duval could be a tool to communicate the party values and to continue to win hearts and minds. Hopefully this was an administrative glitch, and we will see desire to earn more of the Hispanic vote in Duval. It would beneficial for us all to be united in our fight to make Blueval a red Duval again.