Jeb Bush claimed “Hispanic” on 2009 voter registration form

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Few can argue that Jeb Bush has qualities that could appeal to Hispanic voters.

Bush speaks fluent Spanish; his wife, Columba, is from Mexico. He spent a couple years in Venezuela, taking in the people and culture.

Although Bush was born in Texas, a member of one of America’s leading political families, the former governor can go overboard with Spanish-speaking voters, by claiming he is actually Hispanic.

According to Alan Rappeport of The New York Times, Bush identified as Hispanic in the “race/ethnicity” field on a 2009 Miami–Dade County voter-registration application.

Voters must present a physical application with a signature before issued a voter information card, said Miami-Dade deputy supervisor of elections Carolina Lopez. The hard copy confirms such information as address and polling location. The Florida Division of Elections requires the application to have an original signature, which has the applicant swearing or affirming under oath.

Under Florida law, signatures, driver’s license number and Social Security number are redacted.

Claiming he is Hispanic could have been an oversight, but in the heat of a presidential campaign, heritage — particularly Bush’s — could become an important issue.

In 2012, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts faced accusations about self-identifying as Native American. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was born in Canada, leading many to question his eligibility.

This year, Univision referred to Bush as “Hispanic candidate.” Rappeport also predicted an active outreach to Hispanic voters in 2016, but as long as Bush does not forget who he really is.


Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


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