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A Republican donor from Miami who’s disenchanted with his party’s presidential nominee and has thrown his support behind Hillary Clinton says that he’s ready to dole out $2 million to a non-profit that hopes to register Latino voters in Florida and get them to head to the polls.
Mike Fernandez, a Cuban-American immigrant who became a health-industry billionaire, endorsed Clinton over Donald Trump earlier this month and in an email sent Tuesday to the Miami Herald he said the hefty amount of cash is intended to “focus on Latino outreach and registration in Florida.”
By donating the money to an unspecified nonprofit, Fernandez is not directly funding the Democratic nominee’s bid for the White House, but with statistics indicating that at least 6 out of 10 new Latino registered voters will probably vote against Trump, Fernandez knows that his money could go a long way to thwarting the Republican nominee’s chances of winning the Sunshine State.
Fernandez, who donated $3 million to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s failed run to the White House, said that he has never met Clinton and that she is far from his ideal candidate, but he can’t “support a party I no longer recognize.”
“I specially call on all Latinos to reject a man who encourages violence against you,” Fernandez wrote.
It is not clear which group Fernandez plans to donate the money to, but a coalition of Latino outreach groups operating primarily in Central Florida – including National Council of La Raza, Mi Familia Vota and the Hispanic Federation – say that while they have registered about 70,000 new Latino voters in Florida, they would like to register 30,000 more and could use all the help they can get.
Latinos make up more than 15 percent of Florida’s 12.4 million registered voters and the state has seen a massive influx of Puerto Ricans moving to the central part of the state amid the island’s ongoing financial crisis. Some polls show Puerto Rican voters favor Clinton by 50 points or more over Trump.