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Romney relatives in Mexico watching presidential election closely
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November 16, 2011
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Romney relatives in Mexico watching presidential election closely
Illegal immigration is one of the hot button issues on the presidential campaign trail. And one of the candidates has relatives watching the heated debate from Mexico.

In Northern Mexico, residents of Colonia Juarez are following the Mitt Romney presidential campaign closely.

"There's a lot of interest around here. We share the last name," said resident Brandon Romney, a chili pepper farmer and football coach in Colonia Juarez. He is also a distant cousin of Mitt's.

Romney has distant relatives and roots in this region, which is about a three-hour drive south of the border from El Paso.

Romney's father, George, a former governor of Michigan and automobile executive, was born here. His American great-, great-grandfather fled the US in 1885 and came to Mexico with other Mormons who wanted to practice polygamy after it was outlawed in the US. They founded this colony.

Modern day Mormons no longer practice polygamy, but to this day they maintain strong ties to the United States. Many have dual citizenship.

"I'm an American citizen. Ill probably go vote as well," said Brandon.

Another distant cousin is Michael Romney, an assistant principal at the school.

"We're all individuals, but Romneys have been known to be honest, straight forward, sometimes a little too straightforward, and do what they say they're going to do," said Michael. "I know that he learned that from his father."

Relatives in Mexico hope that family history will serve both countries well if Mitt Romney makes it to the White House.

A range of hot button issues on the campaign trail hit close to home here in Mexico from immigration to the drug war.

"This whole talk about more hardcore, more helicopters, more guns? Give me a break," said Brandon.

Mexico's heartland remains a hotbed for marijuana growing and smuggling despite the increased presence of soldiers and federal police. Pretty much the growing sentiment Northern Mexico is legalization.

And then there's the issue of their religion. One Rick Perry supporter called it a cult.

"The church has come under attack since it was founded. That's why we're here," said one resident.

Here in Mexico where Mormons found a haven and a home.

+ Wexico

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