Richard Riordan launched a statewide radio effort this week to encourage Latinos to vote and to consider the Republican Party. Riordan is featured in the spots on English-language stations in Los Angeles, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Ventura and Riverside. In Los Angeles, the commercials are running on Spanish-language KLVE-FM LA.
Riordan also has two separate ads featuring Spanish speakers Erika Maldonado and Marilyn Salvador. Maldonado is the daughter of former CA Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. Salvador is a friend of Riordan’s spokeswoman Lisa Wolfe.
In the radio spots, Riordan doesn’t directly ask Latinos to register with the Republican Party: “I’m talking to you because I love Los Angeles and I love California. Over 60% of Latinos voted for me as mayor. It made me proud. As a Republican, I believe government should bring jobs, keep us safe and educate our children.”
He then urges listeners to make sure they vote.
Riordan, who spent about $43,000 of his own money on the spots, said they are timed to capitalize on public interest in the 6/5 election.
Both parties are concerned there will be a light voter turnout with President Obama assured of the Democratic nomination and Mitt Romney clinching the GOP nomination 5/29.
Riordan said his goal is “improve the dialogue between Latino voters and Republicans.”
“The PAC will neither support specific candidates or work directly with the Republican Party,” Riordan said, but it will try to emphasize common goals such as jobs, education and safety.
Wolfe, who is working with Riordan on the project called Republicans Rebuilding California, said it is seen “as an important way to begin a thaw between Republicans and Latino voters.”
Tom Del Beccaro, chairman of the state Republican Party, told Daily News Los Angeles he supports Riordan’s efforts.
“We have had a number of conversations over the past year about the need for the Republican Party to expand its relationship with Latinos,” Del Beccarro said.
Republican registration has been declining in California for years and represents 30.3 percent of the state’s voters, according to the most recent Secretary of State figures. Democrats represent 43.5% of voters.