Lessons from Florida

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In the last four years, the number of registered Democrats in Florida has outnumbered Republicans by more than 400,000, in large part because of a surge in Democratic Latino voters in that state.

The Future Majority Project (FMP) is hoping to change that.

Founded by veteran GOP strategist Ed Gillespie’s Republican State Leadership Committee, the project is an effort to create and support qualified Hispanic candidates for legislative and other seats in states across the nation. The greater agenda, according to Matt Walter, the political director of the Republican State Leadership Committee, is to appeal to, and win over, Hispanic voters.

“There are certainly future Congress members, future attorneys general, future governors, future U.S. senators and maybe even a president in there,” Walter said in an Associated Press interview. “The goal of the Future Majority Project is to have a long-term, sustainable effort to grow the Republican family.” That family includes prominent Hispanics like Republican governors Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada.

In August, nine recruits of the Future Majority Project from nine states gathered in Texas for a private summit that included meetings with Sandoval and others. Part of the agenda included assuring attendees, who participated in faked filming sessions and issue briefings, that FMP resources will be available to party candidates who run for office. The organization has allocated at least $3 million for the 2012 effort so far.

“A lot of these folks are new to the political process,” Walter said, “and so, by just giving them the basics — the fundamentals — you can really go a long way to helping them be successful in their individual races.” 

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