The Democratic National Committee’s new finance chair called being the first Latino to hold the position a “milestone” for American politics.
Henry Muñoz III, a San Antonio, Texas, native and Obama's bundler during last year’s presidential campaign, said in an exclusive interview with Fox News Latino that his appointment to the DNC post is part of a great effort among his party to diversify its ranks.
“I was really struck [Tuesday] by the diversity on the slate of recent Democratic Party appointments,” said Muñoz, who is CEO of Kell Muñoz Architects, Inc., the largest minority-owned architectural firm in Texas. “I think it’s symbolic of the United States in the 21st century.”
“This is just the beginning,” he added, saying now that the election season is over it is time for the government to get down to the issues promised in the campaign.
In his new position, Muñoz will steer the financial decision-making at the committee and handle all the fundraising efforts for the party nationwide.
Known for his over-the-top style –he once wore a crown of real diamonds and amethysts after raising more than $250,000 in scholarship funds– Muñoz has held high positions in Texas state government, including the Texas High Speed Rail Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation.
He is also a national chairman of the Futuro Fund, a group of Hispanic leaders who raised money for the president’s reelection.
During the run-up to the 2012 presidential campaign, Muñoz organized events for the president’s election campaign as well as the Latino inauguration event with fellow Texan Eva Longoria.
Speaking of the Republican Party, Muñoz said that many people in his rival party have taken note of their losses among Latinos in the last election and there will be a change in the GOP’s stance toward Hispanics in the upcoming election season.
“There are a number of people in the GOP who feel that the Latino community deserves respect,” Muñoz said. “These people are fighting for more inclusion among Latinos than they have today.”
Muñoz added, however, that he sees the rise of Latino Democrats in his home state as a sign of change in the historically Republican stronghold.
“If Texas continues to produce stars like the Castro brothers,” he said, referring to Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro and his twin brother, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, both rising stars in the Democratic Party, “I expect Texas to become a battleground state and lose its one party status.”
Follow Andrew O'Reilly on Twitter @aoreilly84.