The Republican Party failed in its attempt to woo female and minority voters in the 2012 election. It seems the problem also extends to recruiting Latinos for jobs in the Pennsylvania governor’s office.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was asked about his staff during an event hosted by a Philadelphia Hispanic newspaper, AL DIA. Corbett told the crowd “no,” he did not have any Latino staffers–but “if you can find us one let me know.” With some nervous laughter, he added, “Do any of you want to come to Harrisburg?”
“Trying to grow jobs in Pennsylvania, I think, is in the interest of whatever nationality that we are talking about,” Corbett said.
Nearly 6% of the state’s population is Hispanic, according the latest U.S. Census. Between 2000 and 2010, the Latino community grew nearly 80% in Pennsylvania.
Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, who is running against Corbett for the governor’s seat in 2014, slammed his remarks. “To lead our state toward a prosperous economy, a Governor must recognize and leverage our greatest asset: the people of Pennsylvania,” Schwartz said in a statement Wednesday, The Huffington Post reported. “And a Governor’s administration must set the tone by reflecting our diversity with talented, skilled men and women of all backgrounds.”
Corbett’s spokesman Kevin Harley also released a statement Wednesday, trying to clear up any “misinformation.”
“When asked about the number of Latinos working on his staff during the interview, Corbett said, ‘None, right now.’ However, Corbett was referring to his immediate staff which consists of a handful of people,” Harley wrote. “The facts are that Corbett has appointed numerous Latino-Hispanics in his administration cabinet, including Dr. Eli Avila, who served as Secretary of the Department of Health, as well as boards and commissions.”