Kristen Rosen Gonzalez made a bold claim to Democratic leaders in Miami Beach while seeking their endorsement. She called herself “the most high-profile Hispanic Democrat in the city of Miami Beach," reports CBS Miami. (The video in which she does so is here.) The claim caused the party's acting chair, Maria-Elena Lopez, to do a double-take. “We all went, ‘Wait, what did she just say?'" Lopez recalls. The reason for that confusion? Rosen Gonzalez is not, in fact, Hispanic. The candidate for a spot on the Miami Beach city commission married a Hispanic man and kept his last name after they divorced in 2009. More than half of Miami Beach residents are Hispanic, notes the Washington Post, and thus it makes political sense for candidates to promote their Hispanic ties.
“I’m sorry,” Rosen Gonzalez tells the CBS station. “I probably oversold myself.” And to the Post: “It is being reported that I have called myself Hispanic. Clearly, I misspoke,” she texted. “I deeply apologize to anyone that was offended.” She added that she has Hispanic children, speaks Spanish fluently, and is proud of her ties to the Hispanic community. “Of course, none of that makes me Hispanic,” she says. Rosen Gonzalez previously served on the commission, and both stories note she is no stranger to controversy. “We need to give the cops back their bullets [and] remove their body cameras," she said in 2017, before apologizing. And the Miami Herald reported that she plugged her own restaurant in a fundraising email in July. (Read more Miami Beach stories.)