Early Days of the RNHA:
In 1967, a group of men expressed interest in participating in the political process with focus on the United States Hispanic population. After some difficulties in being taken seriously, having had their offers to organize some kind of Hispanic outreach rebuffed, the dejected group gathered amongst themselves. Eventually, the meeting dwindled down to five: Ben Fernandez, Manuel Lujan, Fernando Oaxaca, Martin Castillo and Francisco Vega. These last attendees continued to talk, bonded over their common World War II service and political ideologies, and, eventually, formed the Republican National Hispanic Council. Fernandez was selected as its first president. The next year, the name of the organization was changed to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly with Fernandez taking up the title of national chairman.
The 1972 Presidential campaign, for the first time in U.S. history, created an outreach committee to involve Hispanic American voters in politics. The Spanish Speaking Committee for the Re-Election of President Nixon was instrumental in the acquisition of 60% of the Hispanic vote.
President Nixon appointed George H.W. Bush as Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Reviewing the substantial gains scored by GOP candidates among voters of Hispanic background during the past election, Bush believed there was a need to keep all those Hispanic Americans who participated in President Nixon’s presidential election in the ranks of the Republican Party.
In April of 1973, Chairman Bush announced the formation of the Spanish Speaking Advisory Committee to the RNC to expand and improve the participation of Spanish surnamed persons in the Party. Under the leadership of the national members of the Spanish Speaking Advisory Committee the RNHA was officially born at the organizational meeting that took place on +July 11-13, 1974 at the Stouffer’s National Center Inn in Crystal City, Virginia.
In 1974 the RNHA was officially organized by a group of Hispanic Republicans under the leadership of then-incumbent RNC Chairman George H.W. Bush. Since that time, RNHA has been the only Hispanic Republican organization recognized as an ally of the Republican National Committee.
On July 29th, 1976 President Gerald Ford gave remarks at the First RNHA Banquet.
Today, the RNHA continues to play an influential role in politics. With chapters throughout the nation, the RNHA is committed to its mission of inclusion, outreach, and opportunity for the Hispanic American as well as to the non Hispanic American community.