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Cuban-American Rep. María Elvira Salazar potential Trump running mate

CNN: Salazar and Trump have interacted at Mar-a-Lago in recent months, according to a source familiar with their relationship.

U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar
U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar | U.S. Congress & Shutterstoch Photo of Miami: Illustration by ADN America

May 30, 2024 3:34am

Updated: May 30, 2024 8:51am

There are several well-known Republicans who are rumored to become Donald Trump's running mate in the next elections.

Some of those contenders include Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and a few have even echoed the possibility of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

In a recent interview, the former president mentioned several names, including former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Florida based U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio based U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance and New York based U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik.

But now two sources told CNN that the name of Cuban-American congresswoman María Elvira Salazar has also come up as a contender.

A respected former journalist for the Hispanic networks Univision and Telemundo, Salazar, who came to Congress in 2020, has supported the former president during his trial in New York, comparing the legal case against Trump with the political persecution remembered by the residents of his district, many of Cuban and Venezuelan.

“I am here of my own free will, I am not on the favorite list, I am not looking for a job and I paid my own way,” Salazar said outside the courthouse. “Thousands of my constituents in Miami are terrified when the courts in this country are used as weapons to crush our political enemies,” she added.

Salazar and Trump have interacted at Mar-a-Lago in recent months, according to a source familiar with their relationship. Salazar and her husband, Lester Woerner, a wealthy Palm Beach-based businessman, are friends with members of the Trump family, the source added.

For CNN, it would be very bold, but unlikely, for Trump to choose María Elvira Salazar, due to her inexperience, to be in the first line of succession to the presidency. But in American politics, audacious and improbable was Barack Obama's run for president against favorite Hillary Clinton. Obama had less experience in 2008 than Salazar has now. He had only been a senator for 3 years and was 15 years younger, when he became president, than María Elvira is today.

Salazar's name comes to light after, according to CNN, a growing number of influential voices have encouraged the former president to consider choosing a Hispanic running mate. And until now the only name that had been considered was that of Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio, former Republican presidential candidate and a staunch ally of Trump.

Salazar and Rubio face the obstacle of residency in Florida. While there is no statutory mechanism that  preventing a president and vice president from being from the same state, but Article II of the Constitution bars electors from voting for two people from the same state.

Trump has also been weighing the names of Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

However, a decision is unlikely to be made until just before or during the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in July.