December 15, 2006

Congressional Hispanic Conference Announces Leadership for the 110th Congress

Luis Fortuño Elected as Chair, Mario Diaz-Balart is new Vice-Chair

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Congressional Hispanic Conference announced today the results of its election of officers for the 110th Congress. Luis G. Fortuño, Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico (R) was elected as Chair, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart was elected Vice-Chair.

“I am honored to have been selected by my colleagues to serve as the new Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Conference. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s shoes will be hard, if not impossible, to fill, and I look forward to continuing to work with her as well as all the other members, as we continue to transform the Congressional Hispanic Conference into an even more pro-active organization in the promotion and safeguarding of the interests of the more than 40 million Hispanics in the United States, including my 4 million constituents in Puerto Rico,” said Fortuño. ”I would also like to congratulate my good friend and colleague, Mario Diaz-Balart, for his election as Vice-Chairman. Mario is a true and well-respected leader in Congress and I am indeed privileged to serve with him.”  

Fortuño, who succeeds Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as Chair, is the first Republican elected to Congress from Puerto Rico. He previously served as Vice-chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, and was elected Vice-President of the freshman class in the 109th Congress.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who was recently elected to his third term, becomes Vice-chair. “Luis Fortuño is a sharp, exceptional leader, and the Congressional Hispanic Conference is lucky to have him as our new Chair,” said Diaz-Balart. “I look forward to working with Luis to highlight policies that are important to the Hispanic and Portuguese communities.”

The Congressional Hispanic Conference was established in 2003 to promote the interests and preferred policy outcomes of the nation’s largest minority.

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