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In Historic Move, Latin Builders Association Endorses Hillary Clinton

Matias J. Ocner
Miami Herald
Hillary Clinton speaks to a crowd of supporters during a political rally at the Coral Springs Gymnasium on Sept. 30.

Miami’s Latin Builders Association, which bills itself as the nation’s largest Hispanic construction group, has endorsed Hillary Clinton, the first time the conservative-leaning, largely Cuban-American organization backing a Democrat for president.

LBA leaders plan to meet with Clinton behind closed doors Tuesday, when she will hold a rally at Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus with former Vice President Al Gore.

“Throughout its 40-year history, the LBA has consistently endorsed candidates who have conservative principles, a pro-business mindset, believe in limited government regulation, and possess strong business ethics and family values that have closely aligned with ours,” LBA President Alex Lastra said in a statement. “In the past, these candidates have tended to be from the Republican Party.”

But, Lastra added, the president should also “ possess the right temperament, sound judgment, knowledge of national and international issues and the ability to bring people together, regardless of party affiliation.”

“It is clear that, in this election, the candidate whose values best align with the LBA and who possesses these important qualities is Hillary Clinton.”

For Republican Donald Trump, failing to win the LBA’s endorsement represents a double political rejection: from conservatives and from builders, his business tribe. “Make Homebuilding Great Again,” read a sign at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach when Trump addressed the National Association of Home Builders in August.

Last year, the LBA ditched Trump National Doral golf resort as the venue for its biennial gala, citing Trump’s “recent pattern of bigoted, sexist and ignorant verbal assaults on immigrants, women and veterans.”

At the time, hometown Republicans Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio were running for president. The LBA’s stance was seen as a nod to both Trump rivals — especially Rubio, a former LBA director.

Getting behind a Clinton is a more dramatic political step for the LBA’s board of directors. Though nonpartisan, it has almost exclusively backed Republicans in its 41-year history — not just for president, but for most elected positions on the ballot. In 2012, it supported Rick Santorum; in 2008, John McCain.

Read more about this story at our news partner, the Miami Herald

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