Former DNC Finance Chair Henry Muñoz III to Focus on Latinx Voter Turnout in 2020
|thenorthstar||May 16, 2019|
Henry Muñoz III is returning to the Latino Victory Project after six years as the national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Muñoz, the first openly gay Latinx person to hold the Democratic Party’s top finance role, will focus on raising money from Latinx donors and mobilize Latinx voters.
The former DNC chair is returning to the Latino Victory Project in an advisory position, he confirmed to The Hill. Muñoz founded the left-leaning organization with actress Eva Longoria in 2014 in a bid to elect Latinx lawmakers.
Muñoz said it is important to reach out to the Latinx community early on in the race. “We have an incredible opportunity to grow our support, but we can’t treat it like just a fundraising or get-out-the-vote opportunity, we need programs that make us an integral part of the everyday lives of Latinos,” he said. On May 6, Muñoz alluded to his shift to Latino Victory Project. “What an incredible 5 years since my friend @EvaLongoria & I founded @latinovictoryus. The Latinx political awakening is happening everywhere - in rural & urban communities alike — and we need to keep fighting harder than ever to make our voices heard in 2020,” he tweeted. It is unclear how involved Muñoz will be with day-to-day operations at the Latino Victory Project. The organization did not immediately respond to The North Star’s request for comment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised Muñoz for his work and his shift ahead of the next election. “The work Henry will do next — mobilizing Latino donors, activists, and voters all across the country — will be critical in the 2020 election,” Pelosi told The Hill.
In his role as the finance chairman, Muñoz raised more than $600 million for Democrats and hosted or co-hosted more than 100 fundraisers around the country, Politico reported. Chris Korge was named Muñoz’s interim replacement until the full DNC could elect him permanently in San Francisco this summer. Muñoz is not leaving the DNC for good. DNC Chairman Tom Perez named the 59-year-old an at-large member and finance chairman emeritus. Perez told Politico that he was grateful for Muñoz’s work at the DNC.
“We have revitalized our party, rebuilt Democratic infrastructure, and made historic gains in the 2018 midterm elections,” Perez said. “While we are sad to see him step down from the position of finance chair, we are thrilled his dedication to the Democratic Party will continue.”
Muñoz told The Hill that he plans to be very involved in fundraising for the eventual Democratic nominee, although he has yet to endorse a candidate. In 2012, he founded the Futuro Fund to raise $6 million from Latinx donors for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. He surpassed that goal, raising $32 million by employing a fundraising strategy that connected donors to specific programs in Obama’s campaign. Muñoz said he believes he can surpass that in this election. “Donors are excited and motivated about what’s coming next,” he said. “We have a presidential slate that is browner, blacker, more female and more gay than ever before. The donors want a race and there’s an unprecedented amount of excitement to invest in the next election cycle.”
Latinx people now make up a bigger part of growing voter electorate. During the 2018 midterm elections, a record 29 million Latinxs were eligible to vote, the Pew Research Center found. In January, the Pew Research Center projected that Hispanics will be the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the electorate, making up about 13 percent of eligible voters.
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.