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Latina Candidate Poised To Make History

WASHINGTON--With two weeks before the pivotal midterm elections, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund held an in-depth discussion and analysis at the National Press Club focusing on the anticipated impact Latino voters and Latino candidates will have on Election Day.

The NALEO Educational Fund projects 6.5 million Latinos will make their voices heard this November, an increase of nearly one million voters from the 2006 midterm elections. Latinos are achieving new milestones in their efforts to attain full representation at the federal and state level.

In races for the U.S. House of Representatives, the number of Latinos in Congress could increase by as many as three:

  • In Washington State, Representative Jaime Herrera (R) is currently running ahead in her bid for that state’s 3rd congressional district, and could become the first Hispanic of either major party to represent the Evergreen State in Congress.
  • In Florida, the seat held by U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R) in the 25th congressional district could become a win for the Democrats if former Obama administration official Joe García wins his bid. That race is currently a toss-up.
  • In Texas, businessman Bill Flores (R) is locked in a very tight race with Rep. Chet Edwards (D) in the 17th congressional district.

In the U.S. Senate, one of the nation’s most closely watched contests includes a Latino candidate:

  • Former Florida Speaker of the House Marco Rubio (R) is locked in a tight, three-way race with Governor Charlie Crist (I) and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) to fill the seat once held by retired Sen. Mel Martínez (R). Latinos represent almost 13% of registered voters in the Sunshine State, and are a key constituency in this closely watched race.

In statewide races, Latinos are running in several of the most competitive races in the country.

  • In New Mexico, Doña Ana County (Las Cruces) District Attorney Susana Martínez (R) is in a close race with Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D) in the gubernatorial race.
  • In Nevada, federal judge and former Nevada Attorney General Brian Sandoval (R) is running ahead of Clark County Commission Chair Rory Reid (D) and could become the state’s first Latino governor.

Latino candidates running for state Senate and state Houses nationwide are expected to make gains; nine seats in the state upper chambers (from 65 to 74) and five in the state lower chambers (from 179 to 184).

Latinos are running for top positions in 41 states throughout the nation – which shows political progress in both the traditional Latino population centers, and in regions with emerging Latino communities.

In this year’s election -- both as candidates and as voters -- Latinos are poised to play a key role in shaping the nation’s political landscape.

About NALEO Educational Fund

The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-partisan, non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.


STORY TAGS: WOMEN , MINORITY , DISCRIMINATION , DIVERSITY , FEMALE , UNDERREPRESENTED , EQUALITY , GENDER BIAS , EQUALITY, HISPANIC , LATINO , MEXICAN , MINORITY , CIVIL RIGHTS , DISCRIMINATION , RACISM , DIVERSITY , LATINA , RACIAL EQUALITY , BIAS , EQUALITY



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