Since President Trump won the 2016 elections, there has been a surge in Democratic people of color and women entering politics and running for office around the country for the first time. All of the candidates have focused on one thing: getting people to vote. With the primary season underway, people are putting their names and careers on the line to fight for a better future for all Americans from women’s rights to immigration rights.
While there’s a record amount of women running for office this year, there’s also an increase in Latinos running for a government seat.
Some primary elections have already taken place, and Latinos have won their respective seats (see winners below), which means there’s a great wave of change coming to Washington. However, there’s still plenty of primary elections that have yet to take place. Here’s a list of the Latinos that running this year and hope to represent all Americans.
Winner: Democrat Lupe Valdez, running for Governor of Texas.
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Posted by Lupe Valdez on Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Valdez has a long career in law enforcement that started with being a federal agent and led to her being the first Latina sheriff in the U.S. She served as sheriff for Dallas County for four terms before she decided to run for governor of Texas in the hopes of being the first lesbian Latina to hold the office.
Democrat Randy Bryce, running for Congress in Wisconsin. Primary Election date: Aug. 14.
Randy Bryce is of Mexican and Polish descent and a U.S. Army veteran, cancer survivor, and union ironworker. This is Bryce’s first attempt at a politician. He is running for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District currently held by Speaker Paul Ryan.
In an interview with mitu, Chief Operating Officer Jessica Reeves at Voto Latino says Latinos are getting into politics because there’s a lack of representation.
“I think people are realizing that in order to have our issues heard, we as Latinos need to make sure we’re represented not only at the polls but in elected office,” Reeves said. “A number of programs like Run for Something and our own Power Summit leadership program are training and encouraging people from all walks of life to step up and start a life of public service.”
Democrat Nelson Araujo, running for Nevada Secretary of State; Primary Election Date: June 12.
Nelson Araujo is the son of parents who were refugees from the Salvadoran Civil War. He was raised by his mother, who worked as a housekeeper in a hotel.
Winner: Democrat Texas Congresswoman Veronica Escobar.
Veronica Escobar is a third-generation El Pasoan. She has served as County Judge and County Commissioner for El Paso, Texas before running for Texas’s 16th Congressional District.
Winner: Democrat Texas Senator Sylvia Garcia.
Sylvia Garcia won her race with 63 percent of the vote and would join Escobar by becoming one of the first two Latinas to Congress if they win the midterm elections. Garcia is running to represent Texas’s 29th Congressional District.
Winner: Democratic Chicago Congressman Jésus “Chuy” García.
Jesus “Chuy” García was born in Durango, Mexico, and has severed as representative on the Cook County Board of Commissioners in Illinois. His father was a farm laborer under the U.S government’s World War II-era bracero program. Garcia is running for Rep. Luis Gutiérrez’s seat representing Illinois’s 4th Congressional District.
Democrat Juana Matias running for Congress in Massachusetts. Primary election date: Sept. 4.
According to Ballot Pedia, Juana Matias was first elected to the Massachusetts chamber in 2016. She says she’s a “product of the American Dream,” and was a raised by a blue-collar family. She is running or Massachusetts’s 3rd Congressional District.
Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham running for Governor of New Mexico. Primary election date: June 5.
Michelle Lujan was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and grew up in Santa Fe, and serves New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District on the House Agriculture and Budget Committees. She is currently the Chair for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Democrat David Garcia running for Governor of Arizona. Primary election date: Aug. 28.
David Garcia is fourth generation Arizonan “and an infantry marksman who was raised to value service and integrity, Democrat,” according to his website.
Winner: Democrat Alma Anaya Cook County Commissioner in Chicago.
Alma Anaya, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and a graduate from Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Winner: Democrat Rep. Aaron Ortiz for Illinois.
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Posted by Aaron Ortiz for State Rep on Sunday, March 11, 2018
Aaron “Chuy” Garcia is a son of immigrants from Durango, Mexico. The young politician and educator is running to be the state representative of Illinois’s 1st district.
Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell running for Congress in Florida. Primary election date: Aug. 28.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is a first-generation American who has built a career working for numerous non-profits around south Florida. Mucarsel-Powell is running to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Carlos Curbelo.
Democrat Virginia Madueño running for Congress in California. Primary election date: June 5.
Virginia Madueño is a local business owner and served as mayor of Riverbank. She running to represent the voices of California’s 10th Congressional District.
Democrat Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez running for Congress in New Mexico. Primary election date: June 5.
According to Ballot Pedia, Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez “graduated from the University of New Mexico and the UCLA School of Law. She taught law at the UNM for 27 years and remains an emeritus law professor. She serves as the executive director of Enlace, an anti-domestic violence nonprofit conducting outreach to Latino immigrant communities.” She is running for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.
Democrat Xochitl Torres Small running for Congress in New Mexico. Primary election date: June 5.
“As a child, Xochitl heard stories about her grandmother, who immigrated here from Mexico, working in the fields to build her American dream,” her website states. “Xochitl watched her mom, who goes to school early and stays long after the last bell has rung to help her students succeed. Xochitl saw her father consistently go the extra mile as a social worker to help those who are too often pushed aside. She learned the importance of having your neighbor’s back – something Congress doesn’t seem to care about anymore.”
Democrat January Contreras running for Attorney General in Arizona. Primary election date: Aug. 28.
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“As a Deputy County Attorney, Assistant Attorney General, founder of a not-for-profit and, most importantly, as a mother to two children, January has always been driven to protect others,” her website states.
Democrat Gil Cisneros running for Congress in California. Primary election date: June 5.
Gil Cisneros is the first in his family to graduate from college, and is the son of a public school cafeteria worker and a Vietnam veteran. He attended college on a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) scholarship, and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University. He is running to represent California’s 39th Congressional District.
While it’s an incredible accomplishment to have so many Latino running for office, Reeves says Latino voters shouldn’t feel obligated to vote for Latinos, simply because they’re Latino.
“At the end of the day the most important thing for a Latino voter is to elect someone that will represent their issues and values, not their ethnicity,” Reeves said.
For a full list of primary elections, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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