Things That Matter

Primary Elections Are Happening All Over The Country Right Now. Here’s What You Should Know About These Elections

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.

Watch Live as Lupe Valdez accepts the Democratic Nomination!

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.

These two. ❤️

A post shared by Nelson Araujo (@nelsonaraujonv) on

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.

Posted by Jesus "Chuy" Garcia on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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.

"The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (BoldProgressives.org) is a million-member grassroots organization building…

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.

Posted by Virginia Madueño for Congress District 10 on Thursday, April 26, 2018

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.

Posted by Xochitl for Congress on Thursday, January 11, 2018

“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.

ENDORSEMENT: As a K-12 product of Arizona's public schools, I am honored to be endorsed by the Arizona Education…

Posted by January Contreras on Friday, May 11, 2018

“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.

Ready for the game. @fullertonhoops #TuskUp #MarchMadness🏀 #CA39

A post shared by Gil Cisneros for Congress (@gilcisnerosca) on

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.


READ: From New York To San Diego, These Candidates Are Standing Up For Their Latino Communities

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AOC Has A D.O.G And It’s Making Its Rounds About Capitol Hill

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AOC Has A D.O.G And It’s Making Its Rounds About Capitol Hill

Just when we thought Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) couldn’t shake up the D.C. scene more than she already has, it turns out the congresswoman has a new trick up her sleeve.

Earlier this year in January, news surfaced that the congresswoman had adopted a French bulldog by the name of Deco. In a post to her Instagram page, the progressive Democrat welcomed the pup into the world with a post writing “Hey boo boo! Hi, welcome to our family.”

Now it turns out, AOC’s new pup is meant for the community, so you might have a chance to hang with him if you’re in his side of the hood

View image on Twitter

Responding to a question on Twitter about whether she intended to bring the dog to work, AOC said Deco is meant to be a dog about town.

“The goal is to train him to be a community pup,” she shared in a post that featured him taking a nap in her lap. “Ideally we want to work to the point where he can enjoy town halls, be an Amtrak pup, come to the office, etc. But first, naps.”

According to People.com, AOC’s new Frenchie had been nameless for a few weeks and the congresswoman eagerly collected name suggestions from her followers on twitter.

“He doesn’t have a name yet!,” Ocasio wrote in an Instagram in January. “We are thinking something Star Trek-related or Bronx/Queens/NYC/social good related.”

Ultimately Ocasio-Cortez did pick a name from suggested from her community.

“As we took [the dog] for a walk…a neighbor suggested we name him after an artist,” AOC explained in an Instagram story. Ultimately the congresswoman and her boyfriend Riley decided to not go for an artist’s name but one inspired by the early 20th-century art deco movement. “We loved the idea, and decided to name him after one of Riley & I’s favorite design styles: Art Deco — which also is inspired by themes of optimism & social and technological progress, and is a fixture in iconic NYC architecture,” she later explained said.

Turns out, AOC’s new French is rocketing to stardom just like his mother.

Earlier this week, Representative Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.) shared a photo of herself hanging out with Deco for the very first time and used it as a chance to hype up AOC.

“Making the Capitol better one puppy snuggle at a time: @AOC & Deco,” Pressley tweeted in a post

Rep. Veronica Escobar Delivers Spanish State Of The Union Response Touching On Healthcare And Gun Reform

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Rep. Veronica Escobar Delivers Spanish State Of The Union Response Touching On Healthcare And Gun Reform

PBS News Hour / YouTube

President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address on Feb. 4. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up her copy of the speech and conservative radio personalist Rush Limbaugh being awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor. There were also several responses to the SOTU, including Representative Veronica Escobar, who delivered her rebuttal in Spanish.

President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union on Tuesday night.

Fact-checkers have combed through the speech and determined the lies and misleading information peppered throughout. The speech, according to NowThis, contained one lie every 2.5 minutes. The SOTU made the news for multiple reasons, but most notably, people have been talking about Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of President Trump’s speech.

Democrats have taken their time responding to Trump on social media.

Senator Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor on Feb. 5 to address one inaccuracy he found in President Trump’s SOTU. The New York senator called out Trump on his claims of the growing economy is his own. While the Trump administration has seen economic growth, charts and trends show the positive nature of the economy to be residual effects of Obama’s policies that wrangled in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

One response to President Trump’s SOTU was from Rep. Veronica Escobar.

Rep. Escobar, who represented Texas’s 16th congressional district, delivered a SOTU response in Spanish to include more people in the conversation. There are 32 million Latinos who are eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election. A large number of Latino voters are concentrated in California, New Mexico, and Texas.

Rep. Escobar used the beginning of her speech to address the need for accessible and affordable healthcare.

Credit: @vgescobar / Twitter

Rep. Escobar delivered her SOTU response from the El Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, a clinic that serves her community in El Paso. The representative used the setting to address the attack on health clinics by the Trump administration. Rep. Escobar highlighted the Republicans claiming that they are fighting to protect Americans’ healthcare but their actions say otherwise. In the House of Representatives, 183 Republicans voted to block legislation that protected coverage from healthcare providers for pre-existing conditions.

Even people who do not support the Affordable Care Act have found some common ground with the representative.

Credit: @jcrowder55 / Twitter

“Democrats are fighting back. In the first year of our House Majority, Democrats passed sweeping legislation to dramatically reduce the price of prescription drugs, shore up protections for people with pre-existing conditions and crack down on shoddy short-term health insurance plans – what we call ‘junk plans,’” Escobar said in her response.

“In contrast to the Republicans, we know that health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the few.”

The representative also spoke about the tragic El Paso shooting that rocked the Latino community.

Credit: @JessEscoATX / Twitter

Rep. Escobar used the moment to address the contentious debate on gun control raging between the two parties.

“On August 3rd of last year, El Paso suffered from the deadliest targeted attack against Latinos in American history,” Rep. Escobar said during her speech. “A domestic terrorist confessed to driving over 10 hours to target Mexicans and immigrants. Just before he began his killing spree, he posted his views online and used hateful language like the very words used by President Trump to describe immigrants and Latinos.”

“That day, the killer took 22 innocent lives, injured dozens, and broke all of our hearts.”

“Incidents of gun violence take place in our schools, places of worship and neighborhoods every single day.”

“Democrats understand that this is a matter of life and death. As one of our first actions, our Majority passed legislation that would strengthen background checks and save lives, which is supported by an overwhelming majority of the public.”

Latinos were appreciative to hear a response to the SOTU address in their native language.

Credit: @sffcorgi / Twitter

A study by Latino Decisions found that the use of Spanish-language ads increases voter turnout. In markets with Spanish-language ads, the number of Latinos who turned out to vote increased from 49.8 percent to 60.2 percent. The study also showed that 68 percent of people relied on Spanish-language news or ads on a daily and weekly basis.

READ: Who Is Rep. Veronica Escobar? The Congresswoman Representing El Paso, Texas And Fighting For Her Community