Mass exodus of minorities: Donald Trump is running Black and Latino leaders out of the RNC

So much for the GOP's 2012 autopsy

Published June 2, 2016 1:45PM (EDT)


The woman in charge of carrying the Republican Party's message to Hispanic voters is resigning after reportedly telling colleagues that she was "uncomfortable" working for the presumptive nominee Donald Trump, becoming the latest in a long list of prominent Republicans of color fleeing the official party aparatus. 

The Republican National Committee’s director of Hispanic outreach quit the Reince Priebus-led organization on Wednesday to join the American Action Network, a Republican-aligned super-PAC, the New York Times reported.

Ruth Guerra announced her resignation amid reports that she was “uncomfortable working for Mr. Trump,” according to the Times:

The American Action Network is expected to spend millions on congressional races, and the new job is in essence a promotion, one co-worker said.

But Ms. Guerra told colleagues this year that she was uncomfortable working for Mr. Trump, according two R.N.C. aides who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the difficulties surrounding the party’s presumptive standard-bearer.

It is relatively rare for party staff members to leave the national committee in the midst of a presidential campaign unless they are going to work directly for the nominee.

Of course, Guerra’s resignation comes only a month after two high ranking African-American officials at the RNC left the organization once it became clear that the controversial businessman would become the party's nominee. The RNC’s Director of African American outreach, the highest ranking African-American at the RNC, quit in late March, weeks after the Director of Black Media resigned. Here is how NBC News described the departures at the time:

That there has been a mass exodus of Black staff from the RNC is undeniable. Quarker-Hartsfield and Watson are two of four top African American staffers to leave the RNC over the past year. Raffi Williams, the former RNC Deputy Press Secretary and the son of FOX News political analyst Juan Williams left the RNC last year for a job in media. Another African American RNC staffer Tara Wall, who was a strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and worked for the RNC as a senior strategist for media and engagement, left in late 2015. The sole remaining top level African American staffer would appear to be Lucas Boyce. Boyce was hired to replace Wall and is listed as the RNC's Senior Strategist for Media and Engagement on their website.

On Wednesday, the RNC announced it will replace Guerra with a former top aide to Jeb Bush who spent much of the last year publicly bashing Trump.

"Will Donald Trump drive Miami Cuban Americans? New poll says yes," Helen Aguirre Ferré, the Republican National Committee’s new director of Hispanic communications, wrote in a since deleted tweet flagged by the Washington Post.

However, in a statement issued by the RNC, Ferre said she's now "eager to make the case to the Hispanic community why Republican ideas and values are the way forward for our country after eight years of an Obama agenda which has failed all Americans."

"I look forward to the opportunity to continue to reach out to the Hispanic community to talk about how we can turn this crippling economy around, appoint Supreme Court Justices who will not legislate from the bench, replace Obamacare, improve national security and provide a better future with better jobs for our children and grandchildren," Ferre further explained in an email to the Post. "Hillary Clinton offers a third term of the Obama administration and those policies have been a failure. We can’t afford another Clinton/Obama presidency."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia Tesfaye