Former Republican Party of Florida chairman Al Cardenas has been elected chairman of the American Conservative Union, which convened its annual conference today in Washington. 

The Havana-born Miamian succeeds David Keene, who had held the post since in 1984 and is serving as master of ceremonies at the cavalcade of conservative stars. Founded in 1964, the ACU says it’s the oldest membership-based conservative organization in the United States.

Cardenas, elected without opposition, said he was honored by the opportunity: “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.” 

Tea Party favorite Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann opened the conference today, urging activists to make President Barack Obama a one-term president. Broward Republican Allen West, another Tea Party-backed member, will deliver the closing address Saturday.

Lesley Clark, Miami Herald, February 10, 2011