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Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg courts Latino voters in El Paso visit

Michael Bloomberg.
Michael Bloomberg.

EL PASO, Texas -- Billionaire and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg courted Latino voters in an El Paso campaign visit Wednesday night, the only remaining hopeful to visit the city.

Bloomberg has focused his Democratic presidential campaign on Super Tuesday states like Texas and California, where primaries across the country assign the majority of delegates, instead of early-voting states like most candidates.

In El Paso, he held an evening campaign event to unveil his plan for a "holistic approach to investing in Latino communities across America."

Introduced by State Rep. Cesar Blanco, Bloomberg took the stage in front of hundreds where he kicked off the El Paso Adelante part of his campaign, "The Path Forward." It focuses on Latino issues as he looks for the Texas vote to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bloomberg didn’t wait long before going after President Donald Trump and tying him to El Paso.

“White supremacists hear his language as an invitation to commit and even a license to kill,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg also went into immigration, saying he would create a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants already in the U.S. His Latino-focused policies weren’t only immigration and gun violence.

“Our Path Forward starts by improving economic security by expanding the earned income tax credit and by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour,” Bloomberg said.

Raising pay and expanding access to institutions are promises he is making not just to Latino voters -- but also to black Americans earlier in the day in Houston, in a bid to reduce racial and class divides.

“We’ll make public colleges and universities free for every low income student. We have to do something, folks,” Bloomberg said.

Local politicians like El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagashima, and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke were all at the event. Only one gave his explicit support, and that was Blanco.

“The fact that a candidate is gonna talk about his Latino initiatives here in El Pas, on our border community says a lot about the candidate himself. He respects our community, he loves our community,” Blanco said.

Bloomberg recently opened a campaign office in El Paso. City Rep. Peter Svarzbein announced earlier this month that he would serve as deputy state director in Texas for the Bloomberg campaign.

Article Topic Follows: Campaign 2020

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Julio-Cesar Chavez

Julio-Cesar Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter.

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Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.


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