Gillespie, a former head of the Republican National Committee, has long advocated an aggressive outreach to the Hispanic community. He helped found the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that recruits and trains GOP candidates for office and has emphasized finding female and minority candidates. He also heads up Resurgent Republic, an organization focused on messaging to independents, including Hispanic swing voters…
Gillespie has been seen as having a more centrist approach on illegal immigration, even when many in the party wanted to take a hard-line stance on the issue, driving away Hispanic voters in the process.
He was RNC chairman during former President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection, when “Viva Bush” signs popped up across the Southwest and in Florida, and advised the White House during Bush’s push for a comprehensive immigration reform law. He later took on a more prominent role in the Bush White House.
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