SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – In the wake of a federal court lawsuit, Hispanic candidates have for the first time been elected to the Yakima City Council.
Two Latina candidates won council seats on Tuesday and a third was leading her opponent.
This was the first election since the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city under the federal Voting Rights Act, demanding that the community's election system be changed to give Hispanics a better chance of winning elections.
Yakima, which has about 90,000 residents, is about 40 percent Hispanic. The agricultural community is located 140 miles east of Seattle.
The number of Hispanic residents has exploded in the central portion of Washington in recent decades, with some communities becoming majority-Hispanic. But political clout has not following the population gains.