2016 Republican Race: Jeb Bush Hires Hispanic Campaign Manager
Potential Republican contender Jeb Bush has tabbed Daniel Diaz as his Campaign Manager in a move that could be seen as a potential nod to the Latino community.
Daniel Diaz, a long-time friend of Bush, will head the candidate's presidential campaign even though Bush has yet to officially announce if he will run for his party's nomination. The Wall Street Journal reports Diaz was picked over David Kochel, whom Bush recruited. Kochel ran Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, but he will now be Bush's chief strategist.
The news of Diaz's hiring is part of a larger announcement of new hires and positions within the Bush campaign. However, Diaz is the only Hispanic among them.
Born of Spanish immigrants, Diaz is a well-known GOP communications strategist who founded the company FP1 Strategies, a media-consulting firm. According to his biography on the company's website, Diaz has worked in various elections, including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's campaign and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez's campaign. He was also Gov. Martinez's senior adviser.
Diaz's history working with the Republican Party dates back to at least 2004, making him an experienced candidate for the position.
"Danny's skills in rapidly moving content and campaign organization makes him perfectly suited for running the day-to-day operations," said newly appointed senior adviser Sally Bradshaw.
She added that Kochel's skills would be better suited at helping Bush in primaries, caucuses and the general election.
Diaz welcomed his new position on Twitter, though he may need to rethink his profile avatar.
It is my honor to have the opportunity to work for @JebBush.
— Danny Diaz (@DannyLopezDiaz) June 8, 2015
However, Diaz's hiring may also mean trouble within the young campaign's ranks. The New York Times reports Kochel had originally been slated to take the helm as manager, but the new roles were announced late last week. While the campaign appeared to be running smoothly on the surface, underneath operatives knew changes were coming.
Though not many within his campaign boast a Latino or Hispanic background, Bush does have one extra ace up his sleeve: his son, Jeb Jr. The 31-year-old can be the perfect medium through which Bush can appeal to both millenials and Latinos, according to Politico.
Bush's bilingual, Mexican-American son can act as a stand-in for his father among younger voters as well as Latinos.
"Dad's unifying message of opportunity and the 'Right to Rise' has been energizing young professionals and mobilizing support from millennials across the country," Jeb Jr. told Politico.
He may appeal to millenials, but Latinos may also find Jeb Jr. an interesting member of Bush's family, as he is part of the National Immigration Forum's board of directors. The organization favors immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Jeb Jr. could help bolster his father's image in lieu of a diverse campaign.
Bush's likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, has included many Latinos into her campaign, including a DREAMer activist. Bush may have decided to promote Diaz to counter this, but his son could also prove a useful spokesman among Latinos.