Republicans’ Latino outreach offices missing in 2024

FILE - Former President Donald Trump visits Café du Monde in New Orleans, July 25, 2023. Trump is expected to command the national political spotlight on Saturday, Sept. 9, when he attends Iowa’s biggest annual college football game. Trump will be at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, where Iowa State University will host the University of Iowa. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

By Sean Kitchen

April 26, 2024

Republicans once looked at organizing in Pennsylvania’s Black and Latino communities, but now their presence is non-existent.

While the Biden campaign announced another 10 campaign office openings in Pennsylvania this week, the Republican Party’s presence on the ground in key communities they courted last cycle are missing this year.

“President Biden spent last week energizing voters across Pennsylvania, and we’re building on that momentum by investing in the infrastructure we need to reach and activate our winning coalition this November,” said Nikki Lu, Pennsylvania Campaign Manager.

While the Democrats have been establishing campaign infrastructure across the state since the State of the Union address, Republicans have been largely non-existent.

Multiple offices that the Republican National Committee (RNC) opened for voter outreach in Allentown and Philadelphia in 2022 are now a check cashing storefront and daycare center.

These offices, especially the Allentown office, were part of a national media blitz when they first opened in 2022 and were part of a network of community centers that were supposed to hold over 5,000 events that helped with voter contact training, phone banking and canvass launches.

Their effectiveness was questionable at best.

For instance, Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) increased her share of Latino voters in 2022 by six percentage points, from 62% in 2020 to 68%.

The Messenger reported at the beginning of the year that the RNC was planning to open its Allentown office, but photos show that its previous location is currently a United Check Cashing storefront.

The New York Times reported earlier this year that the RNC closed their minority outreach offices and laid off their staff last year, but in a recent interview with Fox News, Lara Trump, head of the RNC, told Fox News that the original reporting was incorrect and that the RNC is keeping the offices open.

“Under Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans, Black unemployment and uninsured rates skyrocketed, not to mention Trump’s long record of degrading Black and Latino communities,” Kellan White, a senior advisor to Pennsylvania’s Democratic coordinated campaign, said in a statement.

“It’s no surprise that the flailing RNC and Trump campaign have closed their ‘minority outreach centers’ in the Commonwealth, including one in Philadelphia which is now a daycare. At least it’s now serving the community.”

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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