POLITICS

Prominent Nevada Latino Group Moves Beyond Party Lines And Toward Hispanic Cause

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval addressing the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval addressing the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa.  (AP)

In endorsing both Democrats and Republicans for the midterm election, a prominent Hispanic organization in Nevada is going beyond party lines, supporting candidates aligned with the Latino community's causes — particularly immigration.

Hispanics In Politics, Nevada’s oldest Hispanic political organization, has not hesitated to dispense criticism to candidates of both parties for stances it says are detrimental to Latinos.

In the race for U.S. Congress, it has endorsed Republican Annette Teijeiro over the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Rep. Dina Titus.

The nine-member board of the organization voted to endorse Teijeiro over Titus, who has been very active in the Latino community and is considered a front-runner in her predominantly Democratic district.

Fox News Latino reached out to Fernando Romero, president of Hispanics in Politics, for comment, but did not hear back.

Republican incumbent Rep. Joe Heck came close to an endorsement, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, but ultimately was rejected over his hard-line views on immigration. Heck says he supports overhauling the immigration system, but not in the form of a sweeping bill. 

Instead, he wants to see enforcement and border security issues addressed first, then other aspects of immigration can follow, he has said, in separate proposals.

Heck also has objected to President Obama’s use of executive orders to act on immigration issues, and has said that Central American children who have been part of an influx on the U.S.-Mexico border should be processed quickly and returned to their homelands.

Hispanics in Politics, therefore, endorsed Heck’s Democratic challenger, Erin Bilbray, who supports a comprehensive immigration reform measure that would include a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.  

“His stance on immigration has been very iffy, very shaky,” Romero said about Heck, who is expected to win. “It teeters yes and no.”

“We cannot see why we should endorse a man that does not support the wants and the needs of the Hispanic community,” Romero said, according to the Review Journal. “We’ll be endorsing Erin Bilbray.”

Hispanics in Politics gave its nod to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, Nevada’s first Hispanic governor, for re-election on Nov. 4.

He is being challenged by Democrat Bob Goodman.

The organization has not made a decision about the lieutenant governor’s race, the most competitive in Nevada.

The candidates for that race are scheduled to debate at a Hispanics in Politics on Sept. 3.
Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, a Democrat, is running against state Sen. Mark Hutchison, a Republican.

Sandoval has endorsed Hutchinson.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a Democrat, backs Flores.

Finally, Romero said Republicans have made a greater effort to reach out to Latinos than have Democrats.

“It seems the Democrats may be slacking a little bit as far as their participation and reaching out,” Romero said. “I think many of them are taking the Hispanics and thinking ‘it’s ours.’”

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