It is two months from general midterm election and the primary challenges have left us with unexpected wins and losses. There are many seats in all level of government are up for grabs this year which means these midterms could change everything. Primary season is almost over and many races are set for this November’s general election. Latinos are poised to make an impact in the election race, whether its voting or running for office.
Latinos are the largest minority demographic in the country and have the power to make a huge impact this November.
Over 15.2 million Latinos between the ages 18-24 are eligible to vote in this year's elections, according to @WeAreUnidosUS. They "have the potential to drastically change the narrative, the political landscape,” said @votolatino's Brandon Hernández. https://t.co/UIo7VmFZlm
— NBC Latino (@NBCLatino) September 1, 2018
More than 27 million Latinos were eligible to vote in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. However, only about 13 million voted. This has fed into the reputation that Latinos are a low-participation demographic. Seventeen percent of the U.S. population is Latino yet Latinos make up 8.5 percent of Congress with four senators, Republicans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Democrats Bob Menendez and Catherine Cortez Masto. There are two Latino governors, Susana Martinez and Brian Sandoval both Republicans.
This midterm is different as issues and policies that concern Latinos are more relevant than ever. Democratic strategist Maria Cardona told The Hill that having Latino candidates is important because it would spur political participation among recent attacks on the Latino community.
“The candidates might be able to speak about immigration from a personal perspective even if they themselves are not immigrants because what has happened is the massive insults and repeated attacks on immigrants has made all of the community feel attacked,” Cardona told The Hill.
An unprecedented number of Latinos are running for office in the 2018 midterms.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 8, 2018
Many candidates running this year are new to politics and are using that outsider identity to benefit thier campaigns. Many Latino candidates are running on platforms based on immigration and other issues central to the Latino experience in the United States. The following Latino candidates have the chance to make a difference come November.
Jana Lynne Sanchez, Texas’s 6th Congressional District
Sanchez is the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant who moved to the U.S. to chase the American dream. As a Texan, Sanchez believes that the success of the nation relies on the health of its citizens. As such, Sanchez is campaigning on a platform including health care for all.
“As Americans we pay more than any other developed country for healthcare and have the worst outcomes dollar for dollar,” reads her website. “We can do better for patients and for all taxpayers by building on what works in the US system and expanding it to cover everyone.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York’s 14th Congressional District
Hanging out, registering new voters, and having some virgin piña coladas at the Allerton Street Festival in the Bronx today!
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) August 25, 2018
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly became one of the most recognizable faces in the 2018 primary season when she pulled off one of the biggest political upsets. Cortez ran her campaign with zero dollars from corporate PAC money and is a proud Democratic Socialist. Her campaign focuses on the values of universal health care, tuition-free higher education and equal employment opportunities. The 28-year-old Cortez has led a successful campaign that has garnered more support than Republican nominee Anthony Pappas.
Catalina Cruz, New York State’s 39th Assembly District
I came to this country with my single mother when I was 9 years old. I can't imagine anything more frightening than being separated from her. #electadreamer #ImNotTheOnlyOne #FamiliesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/4VuwCyyBic
— Catalina Cruz, Esq. (@CatalinaCruzNY) June 18, 2018
Catalina Cruz is running for the New York state Assembly and wants to encat policies that will help people like her mother, who had to sacrifice to make ends meet as Cruz was growing up.
“It gives me the opportunity to fight in a way I haven’t been able to do or frankly had the courage to do until now,” Cruz told ABC News.
Cruz, who became U.S. citizen back in 2009, is an experienced attorney and a leader for immigration reform and workers’ rights. She is using her previous status as an undocumented person from Colombia to help connect with voters in the Queens district who’ve experienced a similar path.
David Garcia, Governor of Arizona
Today we honor the men and women that built our country, and I am commitment to honoring their legacy by fighting for better wages, safer workplaces, and educational opportunities for all working families so we can build the workforce of tomorrow here in Arizona. #LaborDay pic.twitter.com/fcwWV4Td8g
— David Garcia (@dg4az) September 3, 2018
David Garcia is running for governor of Arizona and will be facing off against Republican Doug Ducey in the state’s gubernatorial election in November. Garcia is a fourth generation Mexican-American who previously worked in the Arizona Department of Education and is currently a professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Garcia has an uphill battle in the predominantly Republican state of Arizona, but many see a blue wave of Democratic leadership on its way that may help come November.
Jésus “Chuy” García, Illinois’s 4th Congressional District
Team, WE DID IT. When we organize together, we WIN together.
With your help, I won the Democratic nomination for #IL04 and now head to the general election in November—where we have a strong shot at sending another progressive to Congress. But that's not all. /thread
— Jesus Chuy Garcia (@ChuyForCongress) March 21, 2018
Jésus “Chuy” García is running for congress in the 4th district of Illinois after winning the Democratic nomination with 66 percent of the primary votes back in March. He will now face off against Republican Mark Lorch in November for a seat in the house. His platform is focused on health care for all, immigration and improving public transportation in low-income communities.
Lupe Valdez, Governor of Texas
— Lupe Valdez (@LupeValdez) September 2, 2018
Lupe Valdez has already made her mark on this election season. She is the first Latina and first openly gay person nominated for governor by a major party in Texas. Valdez is a former four-term sheriff of Dallas County and served from 2005-2017. She was the only Latina Sheriff in the United States and one of very few LGBTQ Americans serving in public office. She is running on issues like women rights, voting rights and LGBTQ equality in the state of Texas. Valdez will be facing off against incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott in the 2018 November election.