Midterm elections: A significant group of Latinas seek a seat in Congress
Democrats and Republicans are looking to win their seats in next month's midterm elections.
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While the Latina legislators who won their seats in the previous elections seek to defend their positions, a new group of Hispanics aspires to reach Congress for the first time.
There are more than five states where these women launched themselves into a race in which representation and the Latino vote will surely be more important than ever.
Based on a recently released report of the Center for American Women and Politics and Latinas Represent, while Latinos make up 9.3% of the U.S. population, Latinas make up less than 3% of elected officials in state executive positions, state legislatures, and Congress.
Seeking to change history and increase the percentage in political participation figures, Latinas are working to achieve a space that could be decisive in determining the bipartisan balance of power.
These are some of the candidates that were highlighted by NBC News:
Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo, a pediatrician who is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2018 and could become the first Latina from Colorado to be elected to Congress if she wins the race to represent the 8th Congressional District north of Denver.
Caraveo is facing Republican state senator Barabara Kirkmeyer.
In this state, Democratic state senator Annette Taddeo faces Republican representative María Elvira Salazar, who aspire to represent the 27th Congressional District, which includes parts of Miami.
Born in Colombia, Taddeo was the first Latina Democrat elected to the Florida State Senate in 2017 and is now seeking to become the first Jewish Latina in Congress.
For her part, Salazar, a former journalist and TV host of Cuban descent, was among a handful of Republicans in 2020 who were able to flip seats Democrats had won in 2018.
In this state, two Latinas seeking to reach congress for the first time are measured. Democratic state representative Delia Ramírez, in the state's 3rd Congressional District, and Republican newcomer Catalina Lauf, in the 11th Congressional District.
Reproductive Rights are under attack. We need leaders in Congress ready to defend and protect our bodily autonomy. Thank you @PPact for entrusting me to partner with you in this fight. pic.twitter.com/k2OS29e1hA— Delia Ramirez (@Delia4Congress) October 19, 2022
Ramírez, who was the first Guatemalan American elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 2018, is running against Republican Justin Burau.
Lauf, for her part, the daughter of a Guatemalan immigrant, was appointed by the Trump administration in 2018 as a special adviser to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
If elected, Lauf, 29, would join Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who was also 29 when she was elected in 2018.
Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a former State Attorney General, made history as the first Latina elected to the United States Senate and the first woman elected to the Nevada Senate.
This time she is running against Republican Adam Laxalt.
Democratic Representative Teresa Leger Fernández made history in 2020 when she became the first Latina elected to represent New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.
On this occasion, Ella Fernández is facing a well-known opponent, Latina Republican Alexis Martínez Johnson.
Likewise, Republican Michelle García Holmes is facing Democratic Representative Melanie Ann Stansbury in the first district.
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, half-Cuban, half-Greek, who is currently the only Hispanic Republican elected official in New York City, is seeking to keep her seat in District 11, which also covers parts of Brooklyn.
FACT: Max Rose was one of bail reform’s 1st supporters, voted to give amnesty to gang members and parole murderers & rapists.— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) October 26, 2022
FACT: I’ve delivered millions to the NYPD, supported tough-on-crime policies & introduced legislation to require NY give judges discretion to set bail. pic.twitter.com/anJVd3utZi
She is running, as she was four years ago, against Max Rose, the Democrat she ousted from the seat in 2020.
In this state, two candidates seek to become the state's first Latina congresswoman: Democratic state representative Andrea Salinas and Republican Lori Chávez-DeRemer, former mayor of Happy Valley.
Salinas, who currently heads the state's 6th Congressional District, is up against Republican businessman Mike Erickson.
On her side, Chavez-DeRemer is running for a vacant seat in the 5th Congressional District, facing Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner.
Republicans Mónica De La Cruz and Cassy García are among the Latinas who could flip seats held by Democrats in South Texas. De La Cruz is facing Democrat Michelle Vallejo to represent the 15th district, while Garcia faces Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar in the 28th district.
Likewise, Democratic representatives Verónica Escobar and Sylvia García, who made history in 2018 as the first Latinas elected to the Texas House of Representatives, are now seeking re-election, where Escobar faces another Latina, Republican candidate Irene Armendáriz-Jackson, to represent Texas’ 16th District.
Republican Yesli Vega could be the first Latina to represent Virginia in Congress, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
The daughter of Salvadoran immigrants has had a long career in law enforcement and was elected to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors in 2019.
These are just a few of the Latinas leading this fight to transform traditional seats in Congress, an effort that is just beginning and sure to be filled with several historic victories.