While the Democratic presidential race has focused on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, there is another candidate touring the country in the hopes of becoming president.
His name is Roque de la Fuente, but most people call him Rocky. And while his politics may align with his fellow Democrats, his resume is closer to Donald Trump’s than to Sanders.’
The 61-year old from California is an effusive and colorful mogul who made his fortune in real estate, car dealerships and banks on both sides of the border.
He joined the race in October last year – five to six months after Clinton and Sanders started their campaigns – but that has not dissuaded him. His
His first election video showed him climbing onto a diving board and jumping into a pool fully clothed in a three-piece suit.
In a campaign season dominated by those outside the usual political circles, de la Fuente told Fox News Latino that the reason he’s running has to do with the lack of good candidates.
“If we had had John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, or anybody of that stature, I would have stayed home,” de la Fuente said.
“It’s an opportunity, and people need to be heard,” he said. “We need a voice. Everybody says they want to speak for us.”
When Donald Trump first jumped into the race in June of last year, de la Fuente held out some hope for that other real estate mogul in the presidential race. “Until he started opening his mouth,” de la Fuente said.
Trump – whose name de la Fuente prefers not to utter – told FNL, “There was a candidate that insulted every man, woman and child. He insulted all the Muslims. He insulted a fellow-candidate.”
He added, “What happens if he gets elected?”
De la Fuente, who was born in San Diego but grew up across the border in Tijuana, says he holds his Latino roots and heritage very close to his heart. He studied in Mexico City and has opened 11 currency exchange storefronts on both sides of the border “to allow free-flowing trade between Mexico and the United States.”
De la Fuente has been vague in terms of what immigration policy he would pursue, but has said that there needs to be a system in place to provide a path to citizenship and that the taxes undocumented immigrants pay could help the U.S. overcome its deficit.
He is also vehemently against the proposal by Trump and other Republican candidates to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I won’t collect a paycheck until we create a logical and smart immigration policy,” de la Fuente announced on his website.
While de la Fuente may be the ultimate long shot to win the Democratic nomination, don’t count him out entirely. He’s already made it onto five state ballots – more than former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had before he dropped out of the race – and has been campaigning in Nevada this week in the run-up to Saturday’s caucus.
Bryan Llenas currently serves as a New York-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC) and a reporter for Fox News Latino (FNL). Click here for more information on Bryan Llenas. Follow him on Twitter @BryanLlenas