DeeDee Blase, left, along with business leaders and Mike Stauffer, second right, who is running as an Independent to replace Joe Arpaio. Somos Independents is rising as Somos Republicans loses members. (Courtesy DeeDee Blase)

Somos Independents offshoot rising as Somos Republicans falters

Latino Republican group, Somos Republicans, is seeing members peel away as they prepare to join Somos Independents, a soon to be launched offshoot of the organization.

DeeDee Blase, an advisor and former president of Somos Republicans says she is prepared to launch on October 1, because many Latino Republicans no longer identify with the party.

“They’re turned off by the anti-immigrant policies the Republican party is embracing,” Blase says. “I left because I wasn’t a Republican anymore.”

Blase, the president of the National Tequila Party, says she saw the writing on the wall with the policies Republicans were adopting and bought the websites for independent Latinos over a year ago.

The National Vice President of Somos Republicans, Steven Rodriguez, was one of many members of the organization who recently announced they were switching their affiliation.

“Count me in with Somos Independents,” he said in a posting on the site. “The Pueblo GOP here has always been hardcore anti-immigrant (Hispanic) and well the Tea Party has taken over the local party so I have officially become an Independent.”

Blase explains that the sentiment is rampant, with Utah’s Somos Republican leader, Antonella Packard, a Mormon woman,  having switched her affiliation from the Republican Party to independent.

“I already made a change to my party affiliation to unaffiliated,” Packard said on the site. “Count me in on Somos Independents.”

Blase points to the fight to replace Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an entrenched Republican, as a perfect example of a race where Democrats can’t win — but Independents can.

“If you look at the Maricopa Country demographic, 36 percent of registered voters are Republican, 35 percent are Independent and only 29 percent are Democrats,” she says. “Democrats have had 20 years to oust Arpaio to no avail,” she adds emphatically.

Blase spoke glowingly of Carlos Sierra, a former McCain staffer who is behind a super pac taking aim at liberal congressman Raul Grijalva as well as the GOP’s entrenched Arpaio. She said they both believe in the Independent candidacy of  Mike Stauffer, who is running against Sheriff Joe.

While Blase says she has decided who she will vote for president, she believes Independent voters will become a force in the future.

“This is the first time in my life that I’m going to vote for a Democratic president,” she says.

“I think Independents will be the real American party. People who want what’s best for the country — not for the party.”

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