This Politician Could Make History And Become The First Latina Senator Ever

A lot of people are looking at Nevada to make or break the election for both candidates, despite having just six electoral college votes. Poised to make history, Nevada could very well play an instrumental role in electing the country’s first female president. (And if early voting numbers are any indication, this scenario is looking more likely.) Equally important, Nevada could also become the first state to send a Latina to the U.S Senate.

Meet Catherine Cortez Masto.

Cortez Masto is a longtime public servant. Most recently she was Nevada’s attorney general, where she went after the big banks and their predatory practices that disproportionally affected communities of color. The senatorial candidate is looking to fill in the very big shoes of Senator Harry Reid, a longtime stalwart of the democratic party who has fought hard for immigration reform. (Cortez Masto is also a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform.) Senator Reid will retire at the end of his term, and has endorsed and thrown his entire support behind Cortez Masto’s campaign. It’s not just Reid. Heavyweights like Elizabeth Warren, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton are also backing Cortez Masto. She’s even got the endorsement of the New York Times.

The senatorial candidate spoke to mitú about her campaign, her roots, and the importance of the Latino vote.

Catherine Cortez Masto with Los Tigres Del Norte

On her Latino roots.

Cortez Masto told mitu that her family has played a significant role in shaping who she has become:

“My grandmother was born in Las Cruces, N.M., and my grandfather came from Chihuahua, Mexico. They came to this country and brought their young family here for the same reason many families do: to have a good job, work hard, have every opportunity to succeed, make sure your children get a good education, and you can’t forget that. If I forgot everything that my grandparents went through so that my sister and I could be the first ones in our family to graduate from college, that wouldn’t be right. We don’t close the door behind us.”

On student loans and making college affordable:

Cortez Masto with Sen. Elizabeth Warren

“Debt, the cost of college debt, not having to mortgage your future to get that education. We should be addressing that issue. We should make colleges affordable, which means we have more loans that are available. If you’re taking out a federal loan, the government shouldn’t be making money off of this, we should be capping that interest rate, we should be insuring that students who have those high interest rates now can refinance them. we should be looking to ensure that students can pay back their loan based on their income at the time, and here’s the other thing, if you’re a student and you’re graduating with a certain type of skill or degree in certain areas that is needed in some of our underserved communities and you want to go work there, then we should be looking at forgiving some of your debt. there’s a combination of things that we can do.”

On why ??YOU??NEED??TO??VOTE??:

Catherine Cortez Masto with Dolores Huerta

“First of all, [young Latinos] should be concerned about their future. Their vote really does matters, particularly in Nevada where we’ve seen close races, and so votes do make a difference. But now let’s put it into perspective at a national level: We have a presidential candidate who wants to build a wall with Mexico, who has basically called Mexicans criminals, rapists and drug dealers, who wants to ban Muslims, who makes fun of the disabled, and who denigrates women and even thinks that he can sexually assault them. You name it, his whole campaign has been based on discrimination, divisive rhetoric, and misogyny, and it is trickling down to other races as well. “

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READ: The Next Time Someone Talks Smack About Immigrants, Show Them These Facts

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