State senator appeals to Spanish-speaking voters at GOP Convention

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CLEVELAND, OHIO (WTVQ/AP) – Republican State Senator Ralph Alvarado of Winchester switched briefly to Spanish during his speech to the Republican convention Wednesday night and urged voters to back Donald Trump.

Senator Alvarado, who is considered a rising star in the party by many, says people came to the U.S. from countries that are full of corruption and dishonesty. He’s pleading with Americans not to let that happen in the U.S.

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He says in America, there’s opportunity and freedom.

It’s the first time at this convention that a speaker has tried to appeal directly to Spanish-speaking voters.

Alvarado’s speech comes after many Latino groups have labeled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as racist for saying a federal judge would not treat him fairly because the judge’s family was from Mexico. Alvarado called Trump’s comments “dumb” but said he is more disturbed by the prospect of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton becoming president.

Alvarado’s father is from Costa Rica and his mother is from Argentina.

Alvarado is a medical doctor who, in 2014, became the first Hispanic elected to the Kentucky state Senate. He says Latinos are naturally drawn to the Republican party for its socially and fiscally conservative platform.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.