Supporters hold ‘Hispanic Reception’ for Billy Coyle

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 20-Sep-2010

As Billy Coyle’s campaign for the Fifth Congressional district seat continues, a recent reception at Chelino’s Mexican restaurant in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown area advanced the Democratic nominee’s outreach to members of the Hispanic community in central Oklahoma.

Coyle’s supporters at the “HIspanic Reception” agreed with him on key issues such as jobs, energy, veterans benefits and particularly immigration, where he has articulated a “strong borders” perspective combined with a path to citizenship for those already in the United States. In comments at the reception, Coyle advocated what was termed a “better and more accessible pathway” to citizenship.

Coyle summarizes his position: “It’s an issue of common sense and also dollars and cents. It’s unrealistic for some candidates to suggest that we load up people on buses and send them back to where they came from. People that have been here working and contributing to our society and economy should get an opportunity to a pathway for citizenship.”

On the evening of the event, in an interview with Telemundo, a Spanish language television station, Coyle stated: “There are those that talk about people coming in illegally, but the truth is that it’s not that difficult. They crossed a border that isn’t being properly patrolled.

“Before we can do anything about immigration, our borders must be secured then we will be able to handle those that are and have been in our country. Also, Mexico needs to secure its own borders and secure it’s country. The violence that is going on down there right now is unacceptable.

“After all, the reason people want to come here is because this is the greatest country in the world.”

The Invitation Committee for Coyle’s event included Chelino Garcia, Chelino’s Restaurants; David Castillo, Oklahoma City School Board; Tim Wagner, Jody Harlan Cocina de Mino Restaurants; Michael Brooks-Jimenez, Attorney; Giovanni I. Perry, Attorney; Randy Quiroga-King, Publisher, El Nacional Publications; and Robert Ruiz, Partner in Enye Media.

Garcia, owner of Chelino’s Mexican Restaurants in Oklahoma City and past chairman of the OKC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, provided the venue, food, & beverages for the gathering.

Castillo, a member of the Oklahoma City public school board and executive director of the Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is a former candidate for the state House. He provided statistical analysis of the local Hispanic population.

Wagner and Harlan, owners of Cocina de Mino Mexican Restaurants in Oklahoma City, are Coyle supporters and were among the hosts for the evening. 

Brooks-Jimenez and attorney Perry are well known in the local Hispanic community and personally invited people to meet Coyle and to become familiar with his positions. In his campaign, Coyle has stressed job creation, support for military veterans and strong support for the Oklahoma energy industry.

Quiroga-King, Publisher for El Nacional, is supportive of Coyle, an Oklahoma City attorney and Marine Corps veteran who garnered his party’s nomination in July. The Coyle campaign has distributed Spanish flyers alongside the “El Nacional” newspaper. Ruiz, is a partner with Enye Media group. The group does promotions, marketing and has a recording studio in Norman.

Cristina Ornelas, the Hispanic Campaign Coordinator for the Coyle campaign, was liaison for the event. Heather Mendoza Coyle, the nominee’s wife, also participated in the event. She is an Oklahoma City attorney.

In the November election, Coyle will face Republican nominee James Lankford.