Bush to Address Latino Expo

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In a nod to the growing clout of Latino business, Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush will address a gathering in Los Angeles on Sept. 2 that is expected to draw 3,000 Latino entrepreneurs.

Bush’s decision to attend the Latin Business Assn. Expo comes on the heels of his noted absence at several national Latino events. At the recent National Council of La Raza gathering in Houston, some attendees sported “Where’s George?” stickers. Bush also skipped a convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

But Bush campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said his commitment to the community has not wavered. The Texas governor has made strong inroads into the community in his home state, winning 49% of the Latino vote in his reelection in November. This month, he attended three Latino community receptions in Iowa and spent time in a Latino neighborhood in Detroit, she said.


The Latin Business Assn. Expo, to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, offers Bush a forum to address two key constituencies, Tucker said. “He understands that small businesses are one of the largest groups of businesses driving economic growth right now in this country, and he also recognizes that many small businesses are minority-owned,” she said.

Latin Business Assn. Chairman Hector Barreto said the Bush commitment “shows me that he understands the significance of . . . the growth in Latino business, the jobs created there and the wealth created there.

“We did invite the other candidates, but he is the one who responded,” Barreto said.