Dr. Juan Hernández is Texas-born with Mexican ties so deep he is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, He is the first U.S. citizen to ever serve in a Mexican presidential cabinet. As co-founder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas, Hernández has spent substantial time and money helping Latino Republicans run for office in his home state. He has also helped numerous other Republican candidates including a stint in Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign as Hispanic Outreach Director. However, when Donald Trump took a hard stance against Mexican immigrants, “calling my friends and family rapists and killers,” Hernández quickly became a “never Trump” voter.
“Beyond immigration, he [Trump] has insulted women, imitated a handicap person, saying he doesn’t understand what the KKK stands for,” Hernández continues, “I’m glad to be on the opposing side. I’m not going to be one of those with the water hose during the fight for civil rights. I want to be remembered as someone who stood up and said it’s wrong the way we have treated immigrants.”
Hernández never considered Clinton, citing issues of integrity, “She is on the left, on the edge of the word those in Latin America have not liked for so long, corruption. She wouldn’t do the dangerous things Trump would do… but her party has taken the nation to an extreme left, where most citizens are not.”
Knowing what he did not like in Trump or Clinton, it took the Republican strategist and CNN en Español contributor a while to find his candidate. This month, Hernández signed on to the Johnson Weld 2016 campaign as an advisor and as Chairman of Hispanics for Johnson Weld. “At this moment in history, there is a third option. Gary Johnson has incredible personality – he’s climbed Everest, he has admitted at times that he may be wrong. On marijuana, we’ve tried everything else. We need to put legalization on the table as with every option. Most Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, and our system should be reformed for the undocumented. His perspective fits like a glove.”
Hernández is not the only prominent Latino to join the Johnson presidential campaign. This week Lionel Sosa, one of the country’s most influential Latinos according to Time magazine, added his name as a Johnson supporter. As an otherwise staunch supporter of Republicans and former advisor to President’s Bush and Reagan, Sosa announced earlier this year that if Trump won the nomination, he would leave the Republican Party.
Former Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former Republican Massachusetts Governor William Weld need 15 percent support in the polls in order to join Clinton and Trump on the debate stage. Hernández believes that the Johnson ticket will grow from the current 9 percent support to 15 percent or 20 percent by the time of the debates, “Clinton has no momentum. Trump has negative momentum, but Johnson is doubling money and followers every two weeks. Money is coming in that allow us to do more television, and 27 or 28 million are following us on social media. Lionel Sosa coming on board is going to be a tipping point.” If Johnson does make it to the debate stage, it would be the first time since Ross Perot debated Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr. in 1992.
Johnson is not the only third party candidate vying for votes but has the most support and is the only third party candidate that is on the ballot in all 50 states. Green Party candidate, Jill Stein ranks fourth with 3.6 percent according to a four-way matchup between Clinton, Trump, Johnson and Stein.
Hernández reminds that Abraham Lincoln was a third party candidate and that dark horse candidates can get elected, like his former boss, President Vicente Fox of Mexico, “In the Fox campaign, we displaced a party that had been in place for 71 years. I’m a believer. Unlike some other third party candidates who are making statements – anti-Trump or pro-environment – Gary Johnson is in it to win.”