POLITICS

Brewer draws anger after saying Latinos won't tip election because they 'don't vote'

Hispanics in Arizona rallied this weekend to try and prove the former governor wrong.

A group of Latinos gathered in Phoenix after former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer seemed to dismiss Latino voters by say they “don’t get out and vote.”

County Supervisor Steve Gallardo said Brewer’s comments to the Boston Globe should encourage Latinos to turnout in droves.

"We don't need Governor Brewer to challenge us,” he said during the rally. “Their presidential candidate is doing enough to mobilize Latino community."

Brewer’s comments drew outrage after some said she seemed to trivialize, in just a few words, the growing power of the Latino vote.

Brewer was asked if Hispanics would turn out in big enough numbers in Arizona, a Republican bastion for almost two decades, to help turn the state into a Democratic stronghold.

“Nah,” Brewer told the Globe. “They don’t get out and vote. They don’t vote.”

That angered some in the community.

Gallardo said that while Hispanics have failed to turn out in the past, he believes this year’s election will be different – because of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"He made it personal for millions of Latinos across the country. He made it personal for millions of Muslim-Americans across the country. He made it personal for African-Americans and LGBT and he especially made it personal for women across this great country,” Gallardo said. “We are going to show him how we do elections by turning Arizona blue."

After she was quoted in the Globe, Brewer appeared to backtrack from her comments.

"In 2012, Hispanic turnout in AZ was 40%, Caucasian 62%,” she tweeted Saturday. “It'd be great to have 100% turnout for all demographics in 2016. Every vote matters!"

Tony Navarrete of Promise Arizona, a local group trying to register voters, told the local station KPHO/KTVK there is more passion and interest this year in the presidential election. He said Brewer’s comments were malicious.

"She has been someone who has ignited fear, anger, passion for change in our community,” he said, “and her comments only continue to ignite passion and energy and action amongst Latino families and young people."

With only 17 days until Election Day, officials are encouraging everyone to cast their ballots early to ensure all votes are counted. 

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