Latino Candidates Make Strides

While most eyes were on the U.S. House and Senate this last November 2, Latinos made notable strides in state and local races as well, according to an overview released by The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.

What’s more, Latinos’ wins did not always come in Hispanic-heavy areas. NALEO noted that several candidates who won State Senate seats in Hawaii, Missouri, and Nevada did so in districts without a Hispanic majority, proving Latinos can have general appeal. Overall, the numbers of Latino State Senators increased from 64 to 66.

Dominican-Americans in two states made history: In New York, Adriano Espaillat became the first Dominican-American in the State Senate (and the first nationwide); in Rhode Island, Providence-based attorney Angel Tavares became the first Latino mayor to run the state’s capital city. 

In Maryland, Víctor Ramírez became the first Salvadoran-American to be voted into the State Senate. Elba García is now the first Latina Commissioner on the Dallas County Commissioners Court.

“Latinos are proving that they can attract votes from diverse constituencies, and govern across all ethnicities,” said NALEO Educational Fund Executive Director Arturo Vargas, in a press release. “These historic milestones demonstrate they are participating fully in all regions of our nation.”

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