For a number of years Republicans at the state and national levels have been trying to figure out how they can improve their standing with Latino voters – one of the most rapidly minority growing constituencies that traditionally has supported Democrats.

Here in New York, the state GOP has been working on its Latino outreach, and the state Senate Republican conference has held an annual Hispanic conference since at least 2011. Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos has also traveled several times to Puerto Rico to attend the post-November elections Somos el Futuro conference, even though it’s widely viewed as a Democratic event.

There will also be a Republican presence at the spring Somos being held this weekend in Albany. The state GOP announced today that it is hosting a free reception tonight in celebration of Somos. It’s only the second time in the party’s history that it has hosted a Somos event. The first was at the Puerto Rico conference in November 2013.

Tonight’s reception will be held at 8:30 p.m. at the Albany Hilton, which is the unofficial home base of Somos. It will be attended by state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, Assembly Members Nicole Malliotakis and Peter Lopez and Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.

A source close to John Cahill, a former top aide to ex-Gov. George Pataki who has been mulling a run for state attorney general, is also expected to attend.

Astorino’s plan to be at Somos rankled some Democratic legislators, who accused him of pandering to the Latino community by endorsing only half of the DREAM Act – the piece that doesn’t use public funds to assist college bound New Yorkers who are not documented citizens.

Sen. Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who are sponsoring the DREAM Act, said Astorino should not be allowed to attend Somos. But Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, chair of the state Assembly/Senate Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force, said Somos is a nonpartisan event that is open to the public and all are welcome. He did say, however, that Astorino would not be given a prominent role – or even necessarily the ability to speak – at any official Somos events.