Staking his stand for Hispanic support in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica Friday released a long list of Hispanic leaders who have endorsed him, including several former leaders of Puerto Rico and several Cuban-American members of Congress.

The list also includes Hispanic veterans, community activists, and business leaders, in addition to current and former elected officials. Among them are Luis Fortuno, former governor of Puerto Rico; Jorge Santini, former mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico; U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo, and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican Cuban-American members of Congress from the Miami area; and state Rep. Bob Cortes, a Puerto Rican Republican whose district is fully inside Mica’s CD 7.

“I am humbled and honored to have the support of the Hispanic community and look forward to continuing our work together in bettering our community,” Mica stated in a news release issued Friday by his campaign.

Mica, a 12-term incumbent, is battling with Democratic nominee Stephanie Murphy. On Thursday Murphy’s campaign released several of its initiatives to reach Hispanic voters, who make up about 20 percent of the CD 7 electorate, and particularly Puerto Rican voters, by far the largest bloc in the CD 7 Hispanic community.

Among the endorsements being offered for Mica:

“John Mica has been a great friend to me and to Puerto Rico. He has worked hard to make life better for all Americans and particularly the Puerto Rican community,” Fortuno stated in the news release.

“Congressman Mica has played a key role in legislating for the allocation of funds for Puerto Rico and Florida to treat and control the Zika virus. The 7th District voters are indeed fortunate to benefit from his knowledge, aptitude, and zeal in the U.S. Congress where his experience, seniority, and wise views are important in the world we live today,” stated Tomas Rivera Schatz, member and former president of the territorial Senate of Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rico has not been forgotten by Congressman Mica. His Puerto Rican constituents in the 7th District are aware of his work to recognize the heroic and patriotic contribution of the Puerto Rico 65th Infantry Borinqueneers. I urge my friends from Puerto Rico to vote for him and spread the good word about his abilities and competence,” Santini stated.

“I am proud to have Congressman John Mica represent the interests of our community. One that believes in hard work, liberty, and family values. A true American community,” Cortes stated.

“John has been a champion for Hispanics in our community long before other leaders. A solid friend of our Latino community, he continued to work on our behalf and with us for a better future,” Apopka City Commissioner Diane Velazquez stated.

Among others signing on are former Puerto Rico territorial Sen. Miriam Ramirez; Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz; former Orange County clerk of courts Eddie Fernandez; former Orange County Commissioner John Martinez; Florida Veterans Hall of Fame member Dennis Freytes; attorney Marcos Marchena; Victor Diaz, first president of the Metro-Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Nancy Acevedo, a community activist.

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