Juan Reyes, the Irish-Italian American Republican…
…with the Spanish last name. Who is Juan Reyes? He came to my house and spoke to my husband. He is running for New York State Senate on the Republican ticket and is trying to get voter support. He is also a lawyer. He is part Italian, he is part Irish and he says, he has a Spanish name. I will post his site at the end so you can see for yourself. I'm not kidding.
When my husband was telling me about Juan, I raised my eyebrows and my voice. What do you mean the Irish-Italian guy with the Spanish name? What happened to the part of the family where he got his first and last names? Is he saying he is not Hispanic/Spanish? Is he saying that his Irish-Italian family gave him a Spanish name for the fun of it? Is he denying his part of his heritage? It sure sounds like that to me. My daughter jokingly said, does he really think he is pulling the wool over our eyes?
In his flyer, Juan has some old pictures of his Irish and Italian ancestors. Juan is proud to say all his ancestors were "legal immigrants." He makes it clear that his wife, Meaghan O’Reilly-Reyes is also Irish. That's just great! I am still stunned. I have never seen a candidate make such an issue about part of his heritage while appearing to deny a huge chunk of it at the same time. His name would indicate that, at the very least, some Spanish/Hispanic DNA is in his gene pool.
I’m not sure I would vote for a candidate who is lying by omission about his own Hispanic nationality. Or seems to be sweeping it under the rug. Or acts like it’s not important enough to mention. How will we know who he really is and what he stands for when he is blatantly is in denial over a very basic fact, he is also part Hispanic.
You know what? Juan seems to be very likable. He has some impressive credentials and experience. He appears to be a highly educated, family man, who lives and works in our community. Why didn’t he try to focus on those things? Instead he made it all about his name and DNA.
I’m not sure this was the best political strategy for him to use. He didn’t win me over with it. He seems like a nice enough guy, but he sure is starting off on the wrong "el pie" (foot). Don’t you think?