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Kentucky Lawmaker Slated To Speak At GOP Convention

Sen. Ralph Alvarado
Sen. Ralph Alvarado

Kentucky’s first Hispanic member of the General Assembly has been tapped for a primetime speaking spot at the Republican National Convention next week.Hear WUKY's full interview with Senator Ralph Alvarado.

Senator Ralph Alvarado is already in Cleveland working on the party’s rules committee, where a last ditch effort to free up delegates to vote against presumptive nominee Donald Trump failed Thursday. The Winchester Republican tells WUKY he’s pleased the committee opted not to alter the process.

"We knew that if we blow that up that would destroy the reputation of our party and we just think it's fundamentally un-American and unfair and it's contrary to our rules," he says.

Addressing the holdouts and lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul, who plan to take a pass on the festivities in Cleveland, Alvarado sees reason for optimism as the party gets beyond the infighting and officially coalesces around its nominee.

"We're hoping that this convention will do some of that, to bring everybody together," he says. "There are some who still want to be opposed, but a lot of those folks, what I'm hopeful of, is they're going to come around and vote."

Asked about Donald Trump’s now-famous proposal to erect a wall along the country’s southern border, Alvarado defends the rationale – saying it’s important the government knows who is entering the country and why. And while the senator is not bullish on the prospects for deporting the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., he says it's a mistake to assume the entire Latino community is in lockstep on the issue.

"Even though everybody think immigration's their main focus, a lot of Hispanics who have waited their time in line and done things the right way don't like to see other people cut in line," Alvarado argues.

Alvarado is slated to speak at the convention at 9 Wednesday night.

Copyright 2016 WUKY

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now known as Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and Program Director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.