Al Cardenas elected to succeed David Keene as ACU head 

Veteran conservative movement activist Al Cardenas has been unanimously elected to succeed David Keene as chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU) on the eve of the organization's biggest event, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Cardenas, a business executive and attorney who came with his family to America from Cuba in 1960, was an early supporter in Florida of Ronald Reagan's presidential aspirations, serving as co-chairman of Reagan's campaign in that state in 1976 and 1980, then performing a number of services for the chief executive after the 1980 election victory.

"The American Conservative Union has a long and proud tradition of espousing and promoting the conservative goals of limited government and fiscal responsibility, and it's my honor to do all I can to help further these worthy objectives," Cardenas said. "I look forward to taking advantage of the new energies we see today in the conservative movement to make this storied organization even more influential in the future."

Keene, who has been ACU's most visible leader since 1984, said Cardenas "grew up as a movement conservative, knows how to work with all the various component interests within the conservative coalition, and is highly respected by those who know him.”

In a release announcing Cardenas' selection, ACU provided this capsule biography:

"Al Cardenas was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948, and emigrated to the United States in 1960, when his parents fled Fidel Castro’s regime. He grew up in South Florida, and turned down the opportunity to play football at Holy Cross University in order to attend community college and work part-time to help support his parents.

"He eventually matriculated at Florida Atlantic University, where he earned a B.A. in 1969. He earned a law degree from Seton Hall University in 1974. A successful businessman and attorney, Cardenas is the founder of Tew Cardenas, a full-service law firm with offices in Miami and Washington. He is also a director at Coral Gables Trust, a wealth management company. He and his wife of 32 years, Diana, have five children and four grandchildren."



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