By Phil Riske
Managing Editor, Rose Law Group Reporter
The Associated Press on Monday put out a story about the number of Hispanic members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Turns out narrowing it down to one number is not easy,” AP stated. “There is no dispute about the Senate, which has three Hispanic senators. The House, however, is another matter.”
Veteran Republican Trent Franks of Arizona is one of two members listed by the House Press Gallery as Hispanic who deny that heritage.
An aide said Franks has been a member of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a House caucus of Republican Hispanics, since he arrived in Congress in 2003. The aide turned the mistake into an opportunity to appeal to the Hispanic community.
“Trent Franks is not Hispanic, but considers the Hispanic community a critically important part of the pro-family, pro-freedom, conservative coalition in America,” spokesman Ben Carnes said. He provided no details on Franks’ racial or ethnic ancestry. Carnes noted Franks’ wife, Josephine, “is an immigrant and speaks the better part of four languages, one of which is Spanish.”
A typo in the AP story makes Franks the most historic member of Congress ever: “Franks, 123-year congressman from Arizona, was on the Press Gallery’s list of Hispanics for this session and the 112th congressional session.”