The San Diego Tribune
03 Oct

The San Diego Tribune

‘Rocky’ joins fight for President

In the early hours of Oct. 1, a colorful San Diego-based businessman officially joined the Democratic race for U.S. President by filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Roque De La Fuente, who turns 61 on Saturday, says he has been thinking about a White House run for the past 40 years, but it wasn’t until he saw how the current race was shaping up that he decided to dive in.

And dive in, he did. The longtime real estate tycoon, developer, car dealer and shopping center overseer posted his first election video on YouTube. He climbs to a diving board platform fully clothed and dives in, fine-tailored suit, shoes and all.

De La Fuente, who also uses his Anglicized name, “Rocky,” is convinced Americans are not ready for another Clinton or Bush dynasty. But he reserves his harshest criticism for GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

De La Fuente accuses Trump of alienating Hispanics, Latinos, Chinese-Americans, Japanese-Americans and women.

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“I decided to run as a conservative Democrat, not looking left or right but going forward,” De La Fuente said in a phone interview.

When asked who his campaign manager is, he replied: “Me.”

He owns large tracts of land in Otay Mesa on the Mexican border, numerous commercial enterprises, including buildings in Cincinnati, Ohio and West Palm Beach, Fla., where he plans to open campaign offices. His headquarters here will be on Morehouse Drive near Qualcomm.

But, unlike Donald Trump, who is underwriting his own Oval Office bid, De La Fuente is running a grass-roots race, seeking a donation of $10 from 10 million Americans.

He plans to campaign primarily via social media: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites. His election web page: Rocky2016.com tells about him and former wife, Katayoun, and their five children.

De La Fuente’s slogan: “We the people need to take back our democracy.”

“I could not have done this four years ago and probably not four years from now,” he said. “The timing is right.”

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De La Fuente is well known in local government circles for waging courtroom battles with city, county and federal authorities over his Otay Mesa land rights. He won a $38 million settlement from the county after the price he was paid for acreage taken by eminent domain was deemed to be far below market value.

Former San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre, who has been on the opposite side of the negotiation table, called De La Fuente a “colorful, funny guy… He’s very smart, very refined, and he knows Latin America… Almost everything his family has touched has had a high level of success.”

While describing De La Fuente’s election as a “long, long shot,” nevertheless, Aguirre predicted his chances of being elected president are “slightly better than mine of being elected mayor.

“He could make it interesting.”

View full article here: The San Diego Tribune

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