Meet Donald Trump’s top Hispanic ally in Georgia

As Democrats sharpen their attacks on Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, the Republican nominee has a new Hispanic go-to in Georgia who aims to help him push back.

Rey Martinez is the vice-mayor of the Walton County town of Loganville and, quite suddenly, one of Trump’s top surrogates in Georgia. Martinez, a U.S. Navy veteran who owns a Cuban restaurant in Loganville, spoke at two of Trump running-mate Mike Pence’s three Georgia rallies this week.

"Black, white, Hispanic, Muslim — Donald Trump is going to pick all of you up and make you believe in this country again," Martinez said at Pence’s Cobb County rally. "I am the vice mayor of Loganville - one of the few elected Latino officials in the state of Georgia - and I am 100 percent behind Donald Trump."

The New York businessman Wednesday stuck to his hardline immigration stance, outlining the need for a “deportation force” to target people in the country illegally who have committed crimes and repeating his vow to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico – and make Mexico pay for it.

Georgia Democrats turned to Antonio Molina, the party's Latino caucus chair, to respond to Trump's speech. He called the proposals dangerous and a "betrayal of American values."

Trump's Georgia campaign, meanwhile, sent a statement from Martinez declaring his unwavering support for the nominee’s tough-talking immigration rhetoric. And at the Pence rallies this week, Martinez embraced a line that Trump often employs in his own pitches to minority voters.

"I've got six words for you,” he told the Cobb County crowd. “What do you have to lose?"

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.