February 28, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rev. Ephraim Rivera Communications Vice-President
(202) 615-7444

NATIONAL COALITION OF LATINO CLERGY ENDORSES SENATORS BARACK OBAMA AND JOHN McCAIN.
WASHINGTON, DC- The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC), the largest latino evangelical pastors advocacy organization in United States and Puerto Rico, announced today it has endorsed candidates in both the Democratic and Republican Presidential primaries. CONLAMIC endorsed U.S. Senator John McCain in the Republican primary and U.S. Senator Barack Obama, in the Democratic primary.

"Representing the 16,000 Latino pastors that are affiliated with CONLAMIC, we strongly believe that Senators McCain and Obama are the best options for our community,” said CONLAMIC President Reverend Miguel Rivera. “Both of these candidates have shown a strong understanding of our community and have had the courage to stand up against political pressure from interest groups to support our needs and concerns.”

“We have to stand behind those leaders that have been there for us,” said Dr. Antonio Bolainez, the CONLAMIC- Texas Regional Vice-President, after a Board of Directors meeting where the endorsements were voted. “Senator McCain has consistently stood up for our community, sponsoring legislation to reform our immigration laws. Senator Obama has also shown leadership on the immigration issue as an Illinois State legislator and by co-sponsoring the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill.”

“On the issue of immigration reform, Senator Hillary Clinton has been completely absent,” Reverend Rivera said. “During her eight-year tenure as an activist First Lady, Hillary Clinton never advocated reforming our immigration system. To add insult to injury, she remained silent as her husband signed a law that denied benefits to legal immigrants in this country. She also showed no interest or leadership in the U.S. Senate, when she decided not to co-sponsor the McCain-Kennedy bill. This lack of interest in a key issue vital to our community shows that she does not deserve our support.”

"We are assured that the Latino vote will be extremely important in every primary, and it is imperative that the Latino evangelical church, be empowered to help our Hispanic community understand each candidate and their commitments to our community as well," concluded Reverend Rivera.

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