Santiago Casas with Attorney General Greg Abbott and Senator Marco Rubio

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be one of about 200 Republicans gathered at Houston’s Omni Hotel to attend the Texas Hispanic Leadership Forum (HLF).  This Forum is put together to encourage Latinos to vote and run for Office as Republicans.

Attorney General Greg Abbott was one of the introductory speakers, and it was great to see him again.  Abbott is not only a leading Republican in Texas, but he’s also married to a Mexican-American, making him particularly appropriate for the morning’s speaker. Interestingly, he was appearing at the breakfast on he and his wife’s 31st wedding anniversary.  “She let me be here,” he said, jokingly, “only because Marco Rubio would also be here.”

Senator Rubio and General Abbott

With that clever segue, Abbott introduced Rubio, who greeted with Latinos in Spanish, culminating with, “Su pasado no decide su future” (“Your past doesn’t decide your future.”)   Rubio then transitioned into an effective speech encouraging Hispanics—and all Americans—how important it is to make a difference in your community.  Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants, and they worked hard in Florida to give him the opportunity to attend the University of Florida and the University of Miami Law School.  He then went to work as a City Commissioner and a Florida Legislator before moving into national politics.

Rubio didn’t come from a wealthy background, but he was able to move forward and pursue the American dream.  All, Americans, he said, should have the right “to decide their own dreams, and the opportunity as their talent and work ethic allow them.”  It’s an inspirational message for all Americans, first generation or seventh, and for both Democrats and Republicans.

Where you start doesn’t determine where you end up.

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