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GOP businessman elected to state Hispanic group

Created: Friday, February 1, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:20 p.m. CDT

DIXON – Liandro “Li” Arellano wants to spread the conservative message to Latinos in Sterling and Rock Falls, where he said there will be an ongoing political battle for votes.

Arellano, 31, of Dixon, was elected Saturday to be first vice chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois. He has served as chairman of the Sauk Valley chapter of the organization for 2 years; this is his first office position with the state group.

The organization’s main goals are to communicate the Republican agenda to Latinos and provide them with a forum to play an influential role in local, state and party activities.

Arellano, head of the local chapter, said most of its 15 members are from Rochelle and Lee County, meaning Sterling and Rock Falls, which both have a significant Latino population, have little representation.

“We want to make a big push in that area, especially considering it was a battleground district in the last election,” said Arellano, owner of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches in Dixon since 2007.

“We want to get Latinos involved in the process.”

Arellano, who saw combat in Iraq in the Army Reserves and who ran unsuccessfully for state representative in the 90th District, was quick to point out that the group does not want to water down its message.

“We’re not going to change the conservative message; we just feel the conservative message isn’t being communicated well enough to Latinos,” Arellano said. “We want to take that message to them and explain why it applies to them. There are quite a few socially conservative Latinos, who are voting for the other side, because that’s the only group talking to them or not voting at all.”

Arellano said the state group also will make a push to set up more local chapters and encourage more Latinos to vote.

Interested in group?

To gain more information about the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois, email Arellano at liandroarellano@gmail.com or by visiting http://www.ilrnha.org/ online.

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