One of the nation’s top Latino political operatives has joined Joe Biden’s camp, in a sign the former vice president is seriously considering running for the Oval Office in 2020, according to Politico.
Cristóbal Alex, an A-lister in Latino politics, on Tuesday announced he was leaving his position as president of the influential political organization Latino Victory, which he co-founded in 2014 with actress Eva Longoria and Henry Munoz, the finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Politico, which did not name its source, said that Alex’s role in the Biden camp is unclear.
A native of El Paso, Texas, Alex himself has given few clues. But in several tweets, he offered a strong indication he would fight to defeat President Donald Trump's re-election effort. On Tuesday, he called Trump "a clear and present danger to our nation," and added "I am commited to doing everything in my power to defeat him, and my next steps will reflect that."
Alex has tweeted praise for declared presidential candidates like fellow Texan Julian Castro, who headed the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration. He also has tweeted praise for former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, of Texas, who appears close to announcing a presidential bid.
"It’s been an incredible five years helping to build this effort, and I know that you will carry on our work to increase political power as we enter the most consequential election of our lifetime,” Alex said in his goodbye notice to Latino Victory.
Alex was national deputy director of voter outreach and mobilization for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in the 2016 campaign.
A few days ago, Alex defended Biden on Twitter after the former vice president came under fire from the LGBT community for referring to Vice President Mike Pence – who has controversial views on LGBT issues – as “a decent guy” in a speech.
“For those attacking @JoeBiden today, it’s worth remembering the VP took enormous heat for announcing his support for gay marriage on @MeetThePress long before others, as senator he blocked ultra-conservative Judge Bork & he’s officiated gay marriages. He’s always been an ally.”
Alex also retweeted Biden on the controversy.
Biden is expected to make an announcement in the near future on whether he’ll run for president. The Hill reported Biden wants to secure enough funds before making the leap, and has been diligently reaching out to donors in recent days.
“It’s a priority,” the Hill quoted an unnamed source identified only as a Biden ally. “If you don't have a good second quarter showing, that could be problematic.”
One of Biden’s pitches for his case in a crowded field of Democrats is that during the midterms he was able to successfully campaign for candidates in both Democratic- and Republican-leaning states.
Biden leads most state and national polls of Democratic presidential primary candidates.
Alex would be an obvious guide to appealing to Latino voters, but those who know his political work say he is a force to be reckoned with on a broader scale.
Former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook was one of numerous influencers in politics who sang Alex praises after he announced his departure from Latino Victory. "Cristobal stood out as a rising star on our campaign and is now among the leading senior talents in our party,” Mook was quoted as saying in The Hill. “Although his roots are in organizing the Latinx community, he distinguished himself over the last few years as a generalist and manager.”
Alex, a former civil rights lawyer, is credited with doubling the Victory Fund campaigning arm’s fundraising to $4 million in 2018 from around $2 million in 2016. The Latino Victory website says that before entering the political world, Alex spent more than five years in philanthropy, working at the Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation.