I think it’s important to read what the non-Cuban Hispanic community is saying about Rick Scott’s choice of Carlos Lopez-Cantera as the new lieutenant governor and who better to hear from than Patrick Manteiga, the publisher of La Gaceta:
“It appears Governor Rick Scott chose a well-qualified and vetted lieutennat governor in Carlos Lopez-Cantera. We are also happy Lopez-Cantera is Hispanic. He has great political credentials as a right-leaning state representative, House speaker (Editor’s note: Lopez-Cantera was not House Speaker as Manteiga writes, he was Majority Leader) and property appraiser. He is even taking a pay cut. As property appraiser in Miami, he makes $173,800 and as Lt. Gov., his pay will only be $124, 851.
“Will Lopez-Cantera help Scott with Hispanic vote? Probably not. Lopez-Cantera’s Spanish-speaking skills will be valualbe but both he and Scott represent a party that is anti-immigration reform with strong undertones of being anti-Hispanic.
“Lopez-Cantera hangs with Cuban-Americans who get special dispensation on immigration and don’t quite face the same kind of discrimination in Miami as Hispanics in other parts of the state. Lopez-Cantera did little for Hispanic issues while he had the ear of the House speaker. Governor Scott has only hurt Latins as governor.
“Even in Spanish, this record will sound bad to Hispanics.
“It is also good to remember that the qualified Latino was not the governor’s first, second or third choice. He only got the job after all the Anglos turned the governor down and Miami’s Republican Cuban-American community started complaining.
“As for the thrill o f having the first Florida Hispanic Lt. Gov., it’s not much since we’ve already had a Hispanic governor, Bob Martinez.”
By the way, Manteiga notes, he didn’t support Martinez, either. “Being a Hispanic Republican just doesn’t seem right.”