Jeb Bush Unveils 228-Member National Hispanic Leadership Team

The list of committee members, obtained by BuzzFeed News, shows a focus on Latinos that is perhaps unique among the Republican field.

Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Some are knocking on doors in pivotal states like Nevada. Others are acting as surrogates in Spanish-language media. Some bring policy expertise, and still others are tapping into their networks and setting up events from Texas to Florida and Puerto Rico.

Many of them are experienced operatives and they're part of the Jeb Bush campaign's national Hispanic leadership committee — 228 altogether across 20 states and two territories, an effort to show and fortify the candidate's commitment to the Latino community.

"I'm honored to have these great Hispanic men and women join the fight for all American families, working to lower taxes and reduce regulations that make it harder for us to grow the economy and give people the opportunities they deserve. Together we will work to engage every Hispanic voter," former Governor Jeb Bush said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

One of the members, Jesus Marquez, has a radio show in Nevada, serves as a strategist for campaigns and is an independent contractor for the LIBRE Initiative, the Koch-funded conservative Latino group. He knows northwest Las Vegas well and he's knocking on doors, asking Republican voters who they support in the primary and what issues they care about most.

"It may surprise some, but immigration is not the number one issue we hear about when we knock on doors," he said. "It's the economy."

The list includes Florida officials like longtime congressional members Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, who said he's looking forward to sharing Bush's proven track record with voters across the country.

"I am excited to join Governor Bush on his Hispanic Leadership Team," he said in a statement. "As Governor of Florida, his conservative record of cutting taxes and eliminating government waste put the state on a path of fiscal responsibility, something our country so desperately needs right now."

But the committee also includes buzzed about newcomers like Rep. Carlos Curbelo and state senator Anitere Flores.

"The people from Florida can give the best, firsthand experience and testimonial of these were the challenges when Gov. Bush came into office and these were the ways that he solved them," Flores said.

She is one of the campaign's Spanish-language media surrogates and has offered herself to the campaign as someone who can travel to states like Nevada and North Carolina to share the "Jeb Bush success story," she said.

The committee members said the campaign is using them according to their expertise. Ivan Gamboa, a Wisconsin businessman who has worked with the state's governor and former presidential candidate Scott Walker, has shared his network with the campaign including contacts in Iowa and Illinois as well as his home state, and has been impressed with the way the campaign has followed up with everyone he has recommended.

The Hispanic vote has trended toward Democrats in recent presidential elections but the Bush campaign plans to make a play for Latinos, as the primary goes on and should he make it to the general election. An August Gallup poll showed the bilingual former governor, who has a Hispanic family, as the Republican with the highest favorability among the group.

And Bush has also started the media outreach; he did a major interview with Telemundo this summer and was the keynote speaker at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's national convention in September.

Ken Oliver-Mendez, the director of MRC Latino, a conservative Spanish-language media watchdog, is part of the leadership committee, and said his personal endorsement is separate from the work he does, much like that of his boss Brent Bozell, who supports Ted Cruz. He said that he, like many others in the group, are Bush administration alumni.

"The Bushes brought a lot of Latinos into their administrations," he said. "We've always liked Jeb Bush a lot and seen him as a natural for presidential office."

Here are the 228 members of the Bush campaign Hispanic leadership committee:

Jose Abreu Florida

Raul Acosta New York

Armando Adame Texas

Eduardo Aguirre Texas

Marta Aguirre Bascom Virginia

Kristen Alexander Nevada

Alberto Alfonso Florida

Carlos Alfonso Florida

Jose Aliaga Michigan

Luis Alvarado DC

Cesar Alvarez Florida

Ramon Alvarez California

Ruben Alvarez Arizona

John Andrews Virginia

George Antuna Texas

Milton Aponte Florida

Luis Felipe Aragon California

Victor Arias, Jr. Texas

Jorge Arrizurieta Florida

Frank Artiles Florida

Andres Asion Florida

Irela Bague Florida

Ruben Barrales California

Hector Barreto DC

Elias Behar-Ybarra Puerto Rico

Gary Berrios Florida

Rudy Beserra Georgia

Blanca Bichara Florida

Othal Brand, Jr. Texas

Romero Britto Florida

Victor Cabral Virginia

Tony Calatayud Florida

Roger Campos Maryland

Raoul Cantero Florida

Alberto Cardenas Florida

Jovita Carranza Illinois

Jose Carrion Puerto Rico

Elijah Casa Texas

Mario Castillo DC

Sharon Castillo Maryland

Julio Cerda Texas

Charles Cervantes Virginia

Linda Chavez Virginia

Mariela Chavez-Knapp Texas

Adriana Comellas-Macretti Florida

Bob Cortes Florida

John Cruz California

Rafael Cuellar New Jersey

Carlos Curbelo Florida

Maria Davis Nevada

Moises De Jesus New York

Berthy De La Rosa Aponte Florida

Deborah DeMoss Fonseca Virginia

Jose Felix Diaz Florida

Lincoln Diaz-Balart Florida

Mario Diaz-Balart Florida

Daniel Diaz-Leyva Florida

Remedios Diaz-Oliver Florida

Manny Diaz, Jr. Florida

Doreen DominguezCalifornia

Susana Duarte Indiana

Oscar Echevarria Virginia

Aurora Espinosa Nevada

Juan G. Espinosa New Jersey

Luis Farias California

Mike Fernandez Florida

Rudy Fernandez Florida

Dr. Maurice R. Ferrer Florida

Andreina Figueroa Florida

Tony Fiorina Texas

Anitere Flores Florida

Rafael Flores New York

Alan Florez Florida

Jaime Fonalledas Puerto Rico

Zori Fonalledas Puerto Rico

Rene Fonseca Virginia

Luis Fortuno Puerto Rico

Blanca Fox Nevada

Adriana Fralick Nevada

Erik Fresen Florida

Denis Freytes Florida

Dennis Freytes Florida

Elizabeth Gallagher Nevada

Ivan Gamboa Wisconsin

Charlie Garcia Florida

Martin Garcia Florida

Rudy Garcia Florida

Diedra Garcia Colorado

Jimmy Garza Texas

Martha Gautier Hawaii

Luis Andre Gazitua Florida

Carlos Gimenez Florida

Jennifer Gonzalez Puerto Rico

David Griego Nevada

Julio Gudino California

Abel Guerra Texas

Frank Guerra Texas

Allen Gutierrez DC

Sam Gutierrez Illinois

Joseph Guzman Michigan

Anita Guzman Michigan

Jacqueline Guzman Michigan

Peter Guzman Nevada

Anibal Heredia Puerto Rico

Maggie Hernandez California

Joe Hernandez Nevada

Daniel Hernandez Texas

Joacim Hernandez Texas

Dr. Juan Hernandez Texas

George Herrarte California

Hans Hertell New York

Hans Hertell, Jr. Florida

Ocatavio Hinojosa-Mier Texas

Jim Jimenez Florida

Hector Lombana Florida

Emanuel Loo Texas

Danny Lopez Indiana

JM Lozano Texas

Gus Machado Florida

Raul Magdaleno Texas

Carmen Mahan Nevada

Mitch Maidique Florida

Abel Maldonado California

Alci Maldonado Florida

Yuri Mantilla Virginia

Jesse Manzano Florida

Marcos Marchena Florida

Krissian Marquez Nevada

Jesus Marquez Nevada

Mel Martinez Florida

Sandra Martinez Nevada

Troy Martinez Nevada

Gil Medina New Jersey

Sonia Medina Texas

Otto Merida Nevada

Damian Merlo Florida

Jose Mier Llaca Iowa

Maria Mier Llaca Iowa

Leticia Mitchell Nevada

Jaime A. Molera Arizona

Al Moncada California

Diana Monsivais Nevada

Jacob Monty Texas

Rosa Morales Nevada

Alberto Morales Puerto Rico

Darryl Morin Wisconsin

Angela Morin Wisconsin

Rafa Munguia Texas

Artemio Muniz Texas

Armando Musa New York

Ana Navarro Florida

Xavier Neira Oklahoma

Jose Nino Texas

Dr. Antonia Novello Florida

Jose Oliva Florida

David Olivencia Indiana

Yesenia Olivencia Indiana

Ken Oliver-Mendez Virginia

Steve Orlando Illinois

Jorge Ortega Florida

Izzy Ortega Tennessee

Alfredo Ortiz Georgia

Umram Osambela Nevada

Nina Oviedo Virginia

Manny Padilla California

Barry Patel Texas

Elsa Patterson Nevada

Sandy Peltyn Nevada

Aron Pena Texas

Roberto Peña Gonzalez Texas

Rafael Penalver Florida

Tico Perez Florida

Dr. Nolan Perez Texas

Charles "Carlos" Perez Virginia

JC Planas Florida

Jason Poblete Virginia

Yleem Poblete Virginia

Michael Pruneda Texas

Ana Quinquoces Florida

Miriam Ramirez Florida/Puerto Rico

Carol Ramirez Maryland

Esther Ramirez Maryland

Henry Ramirez Maryland

Teresa Ramirez Nevada

Mario Ramirez Texas

Alfred "Al" Rascon Maryland

Israel "Izzy" Reyes Florida

Fernando Reyes Texas

Ivonne Richardson Nevada

Diana Richardson-Vela California

Josue Rivera Puerto Rico

Julio Robaina Florida

Reynaldo Robledo Nevada

Mario Rodriguez California

Raquel "Rocky" Rodriguez Florida

Zues Rodriguez Wisconsin

Fernando Romero Nevada

Jeny Romero Nevada

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Florida

Marlene Rosado California

Manuel "Manny" Rosales DC

Juan Sabater New York

Charlie Safdie Florida

Norberto "Beto" Salinas Texas

Grace Sanchez-Hagen California

Isabel "Izzy" Santa Virginia

Brandon Schneider Maryland

Madeleine Serrano Florida

Walde Serrano Florida

Jerry Silva California

William Solemene Texas

Lionel Sosa Texas

Theresa Speake Virginia

Cecilia Strieber Nevada

Mauricio Tamargo Virginia

Margita Thompson California

Warren Tischner Texas

Adriana Toscano Nevada

Sol Trujillo Florida

Carlos Trujillo Florida

Omar Vargas Connecticut

Luce Vela Puerto Rico

Eduardo Verastegui California

Marielena Villami Florida

Tony Villamil Florida

Rudy Yakym III Indiana

Al Zapanta Texas

Fernando Zapari Indiana

Minerva Zermeno California



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.