By Karli Barnett


MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Eight presidential candidates were in Miami on Friday, taking part in the 36th Annual Conference of the Presidential Candidate Forum.

The forum was hosted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and gave candidates a chance to address Latino policymakers and voters on issues that matter most to the Latino community.

In order of appearance, those who took part in the event were:

  • Former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (Texas)
  • Former Governor John Hickenlooper (Colorado)
  • Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, IN)
  • U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
  • U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
  • U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

The Democratic candidates fielded questions about topics, including immigration, Census 2020, the environment and healthcare. Each only had 12 minutes on stage.

“The road to the White House runs through the Latino community,” said Arturo Vargas, NALEO CEO.

A recent poll by NALEO Educational Fund and Latino Decisions found that Latinos are following Election 2020 closely.  More than eight in ten (84%) Latino voters reported being likely or certain to vote in November 2020.

NALEO’s annual conference is the nation’s largest gathering of Latino policymakers.

Vargas said President Donald Trump was invited, but did not attend.

However, the Latino vote is important to the Trump campaign.

Vice President Mike Pence will visit Miami Tuesday, June 25 to headline the launch of Latinos for Trump.

That’s followed immediately by the first Democratic Presidential Debate of the 2020 electoral cycle, which takes place Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27 at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Karli Barnett

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