California candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Ron Nehring, spoke Tuesday night to the Latino American Political Association of San Diego, a bipartisan group, and recounted why his German immigrant father would have supported voter ID.
Nehring went on to recount serving as an international election observer in Honduras where voter ID is required to be shown for anyone to vote in an election.
Nehring told the story of why he is an American, highlighting the significance of his family’s immigration story. Born in 1934 in a poor fishing village in Germany, Nehring’s father joined the German merchant marines. Nehring said:
The most valuable thing that I have is his logbook which documents all of the ports around the world that he visited like Port au Prince, Haiti and Havanna, Cuba, and Panama, Columbia, but also ports like Baltimore and New York and Boston. This is his logbook right here. It’s 57 years old. I carry it with me everywhere I go on the campaign trail because this symbolizes why I’m an American. So when my father was finished in the German merchant marines, he went back to Germany, he met my mother, he was 26, she was 19 and they got married. And my father said that, “Of all the places I’ve visited around the world I want to raise our family in freedom, in the United States. And so in 1961 they boarded a German passenger vessel in Hamburg, Germany. They sailed across the Atlantic, they landed in New York…
Two things I learned from my father, one, every time he took me to vote, he took me to vote every time, he never missed an election, but he always wore a tie when he went to vote. My father was never a wealthy man, but he always wore a tie when he went to go and vote, because he felt that right to vote has a certain sanctity to it and must be preserved. That’s why I support voter ID and I’m confident my father would support voter ID as well because the sanctity of that vote must always be protected.
Late last year Nehring served as an international election observer in Honduras. He commented that, “…in Honduras every single person is required to show voter ID. So I don’t see how voter ID is anti-Latino when in a 100% Latino country, you have to show voter ID in order to vote, as a measure against fraud, so no one steals the election.”
In conclusion, the candidate explained why he became a Republican:
The other thing I learned from my father is he never told me who he voted for… part of that is from growing up in Nazi Germany. They had elections back then too, but if you voted for the ‘wrong person’ or told the wrong person, the Gestapo came in the middle of the night and you were never seen again. But I know who my father voted for because he told me in the 1960s and 1970s he would watch these Presidential debates between the Democrats and the Republicans and to him, the Republicans sounded like the ideas that brought him to America, the Democrats sounded like the ideas he was trying to get away from back in Europe. And that’s why he became a Republican and that’s why I became a Republican. So I think it’s the ideas at the center of the Republican Party, opportunity, local control, low taxes, limited government, personal freedom, strong national defense that produce prosperity wherever they’re tried around the world.