What do William Blaine Richardson III and Benjamin "Ben" Fernandez have in common? They were trailblazers.
The first two Hispanics to run for President of The United States of America. Richardson in 2008 and Fernandez in 1980. Today, America made political history with 2 Latinos running for President. US Senators Cruz and Rubio
Bill Richardson was born in Pasadena California on November 15, 1947. The Democrat politician was 30th Governor of New Mexico, from 2003 to 2011. He was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration and has also served as a U.S. Congressman, chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
In December 2008, he was nominated for the cabinet-level position of Commerce Secretary in the first Obama administration but withdrew a month later as he was investigated for possibly improper business dealings in New Mexico. Although the investigation was later dropped, it was seen to have damaged Richardson's career, as his second and final term as New Mexico governor concluded.
Ben Fernandez was born on February 24, 1925 and died on April 25, 2000. The Republican politician was a financial consultant and special ambassador. He ran for President of the United States three times, seriously in 1980 and with more perfunctory campaigns in 1984 and 1988, making him America's first major-party presidential contender of Hispanic origin.
Fernandez was born in Kansas to Mexican parents who were illegal immigrants. He served in World War II, then began a successful business career. He began to get involved with politics in the late 1960s, co-founding the Republican National Hispanic Council and serving as a fundraiser for Republican candidates starting with President Richard Nixon in 1972. In 1973, Nixon appointed him Special Ambassador to Paraguay.