Clipped From The Orlando Sentinel

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 - OTm IT TTT 0 cam JA. JX WMo eat? n Conventional...
OTm IT TTT 0 cam JA. JX WMo eat? n Conventional wisdom picks Cuban-American woman By Maya Bell SENTINEL MIAMI BUREAU MIAMI When Republican National Chairman Lee Atwater pledged to elect a Cuban-American to the congressional seat left vacant by the death of Democrat Claude Pepper, he inflamed partisans on both sides of the fence. The Democratic favorite to succeed Pepper Jack Gordon, the veteran state senator, irom, Miami Beach abruptly pulled out of the race a mere two days after en-. tering, saying he refused to run a Campaign that, in effect, would have to be aimed at "stopping the Cubans." - On the Republican side, an insurance broker from North Bay Village was so angry that the seat jtjjad been designated ethnically "pthat he jumped into the Aug. 29 special election. C Another Republican candidate, "a furniture store owner and minis-j, ter, dashed off a letter to George -J5ush asking the president to proclaim the seat Pepper held for 27 ears the "All-American seat." yj While Atwater may not have chosen the wisest words-about a tension-wrought district ethnically divided into Hispanic, black and 2$nglo factions, he may have been fpeaking-' prophetically. Anything pan happeitin the wacky world of Miami politics but ther.odds are that a Cuban-American will claim the 18th District seat, concluding another chapter in the remarkable story of Cuban assimilation into the American mainstream. " The anointed choice of each parity, Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a state senator, and Democrat Rosario Kennedy, a Miami city commissioner, both jof.whom whave given up their seats to run, "are native Cubans who fled to the United States as youngsters when Fidel Castro came to power. With established name recognition, party backing and the ability to fill enormous war chests, each is favored to grab her party's nomination. The outcome of the race won't alter the Democratic balance in the U.S. House, where Democrats hold a 257 to 175 majority, but it is uuiei iuw-uii- . ' iman among x, w : t, with the at-a on Miami, important to both parties. It gives the Republicans the chance to strengthen their hold on the Florida congressional delegation and the Democrats the opportunity to stem GOP momentum. Both parties agree the race is crucial symbolically as well. Pepper, who died of cancer May 30 at 88, was the last of the New Deal Democrats and the unparalleled champion of the poor and elderly, an icon who transcended party lines and became a hero to millions in the nation. His replace ment will be just another low-on- ( the-totem-pole ireshman among 435 congressmen. But. tention of the media the nation will notice the succes sor to the humble Alabama plow- boy who made an indelible impact on the American quality of life. ,. . ..-jg seat jejune much more 3o? than a Democratic seat. It became the Claude Pepper seat," said Howard Schloss, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "To hold that symbolism we must keep it in the tradition of Claude Pepper. From all I've seen of Republicans, that means keep ing it Democratic. But the GOP, which gained its first majority in Florida's 1 Q.momW rrrcrrcicairn- J? al delegation this year, is anxious to advance the Republican tide Please see RACE, G-5 MS it I M . Leading pair share striking similarities By Maya Bell SENTINEL MIAMI BUREAU MIAMI On the surface, Democrat Rosario Kennedy and Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen their party's favorites to replace the legendary Congressman Claude Pepper are so alike people often get them confused. Well-wishers have congratulated Ros-Lehtinen, a state senator, for a program Kennedy started. They've been known to ask Kennedy, a Miami city commissioner, about Ros-Lehtinen's two little girls. It's easy to understand the confusion. Both women are petite and personable, with successful professional careers. They were born in Cuba and fled to the United States as youngsters during the Cuban Revolution. They married powerful American men and were the first Hispanic women to hold the offices they are now leaving to run for Congress. On the political side, they both vow to carry on the Pepper tradition of fighting for the less fortunate. They are fiercely anti-Castro and pro-Israel, as are, virtually all candidates in the District J&jjce; But . despite their sjarface$i?r-larities, Kennedy and Ros-Lehtinen come from divergent backgrounds, winding up in opposing political camps. ' - Kennedy, 44, a Democrat who was elected to the Miami City Commission in 1985, was born to a wealthy Cuban family and privileged childhood. Politics oddly enough Republican politics was in her blood. Her father, Alescio Arguelle?, who owned a jai-alai fronton in Havana and a cattle ranch, was elected to the Cuban Senate. But because of Fidel Castro's ascension to power, he never served. Cuban President Mario Menocal was a relative. Her grandfather was president of the Cuban Senate and several uncles served as mayor of Havana. meussa sumicksentinel Please see CANDIDATES, G-4

Clipped from
  1. The Orlando Sentinel,
  2. 09 Jul 1989, Sun,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 109

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