POLITICS

Latinos Could Sway Omaha's Mayoral Race

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  Voters go to the polls for Super Tuesday primaries in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights on February 5, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Latinos are an increasingly important factor in California where they are expected to account for 14 percent of the vote and tend to favor presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) over rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). At 44 million, Latinos make up15 percent of the US population, the nation's largest minority group according to the latest Census Bureau estimates.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Voters go to the polls for Super Tuesday primaries in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights on February 5, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Latinos are an increasingly important factor in California where they are expected to account for 14 percent of the vote and tend to favor presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) over rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). At 44 million, Latinos make up15 percent of the US population, the nation's largest minority group according to the latest Census Bureau estimates. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)  (2008 Getty Images)

As Omaha's mayoral race heats up, it's becoming clear that every vote will count.

"We don't know that we want to vote for Mayor Suttle, but we also don't know Jean Stothert," said political activist Ben Salazar.

In South Omaha, the Latino community will be an important x-factor.  The latest census shows the ethnic group now makes up more than 13 percent of Omaha's population. Salazar says it's because of this that Latino support can't be taken for granted.

"Across Nebraska and across this country Latinos are actually having a big impact on who gets elected to particular offices," said Salazar.  "Whoever does the best at being aware of the issues that drive Latinos to the ballot box will win."

For some South Omaha residents, they may not know which way they'll vote, but they've already got some of those issues in mind.

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"I think the mayor, whoever that may be, should be more involved in our community," said voter Gustavo Camacho.

Experts believe it's the type of input that could sway the race, scheduled for a May 14th vote, one way or another.

For more go to http://www.kptm.com

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