Republicans Open Hispanic Community Center in South Omaha
By Fred Knapp , Reporter/Producer Nebraska Public Media
June 20, 2022, 5 p.m. ·
Listen To This Story
Seeking to attract traditionally Democratic voters, the Republican Party opened a Hispanic Community Center in South Omaha Monday. In the last midterm congressional elections, Frank Newport of the Gallup organization estimates 69 percent of Hispanic voters favored Democratic congressional candidates, while only 29 percent favored Republicans. That’s nationwide. In the Omaha-area Second Congressional District, the vote in predominantly Hispanic south Omaha is credited with helping Joe Biden win the district’s vote.
But that could change, if the hopes of the Republican National Committee are realized. The RNC on Monday opened a Hispanic Community Center – around its 30th, nationwide -- in a strip mall just off 24th Street in South Omaha. Elsewhere, such cetners have been used to host everything from campaign events to baby formula and food drives, said Preya Samsundar, the RNC’s regional communications director.
Republican Congressman Don Bacon, running against state Sen. Tony Vargas this fall, argued Republican values are more closely aligned with those of the Hispanic community.
“We’re pro-small business. We’re pro-entrepreneur. We’re pro-opportunity. We’re pro-that we’re going to let you achieve things through hard work and character. You get to keep your taxpayer money. We’re going to try and keep regulations off your shoulder as you’re try to feed your family and put food on the table. We’re pro-family. We’re not ashamed of it. We’re pro-faith. We don’t walk away from that. We’re pro-life,” Bacon said.
Jaime Florez, the RNC’s director of Hispanic media, pointed to a recent Republican victory in a special election in traditionally Democratic south Texas as a sign trends are his party’s favor.
“Mayra Flores’ recent victory in Texas Congressional District 34 demonstrates that Democrats have a problem with Hispanic voters. And we’re here to make that problem into a humongous nightmare,” Florez said, to laughter and cheers.
Flores outspent her Democratic opponent 10-1 in a race largely ignored by the national Democratic Party. She faces another election in November in a realigned district more favorable to Democrats.
Nebraska Democratic Party LatinX Caucus Chair Zachary Mora James mocked Republican outreach efforts, saying “The Republican Party can open as many ‘community centers’ as they want – Hispanic voters will never forget their cruelty.”