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Cristina Martinez and Shamaine Daniels
Cristina Martinez and Shamaine Daniels talk while canvassing on Thursday, Oct. 6. Photo: Shamaine Daniels Campaign.

South Philly Barbacoa’s Cristina Martinez hits the campaign trail for Shamaine Daniels

With Election Day a month away, Philly’s activist, award-winning chef was out in Harrisburg showing support for a fellow Latina leader.

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Chef Cristina Martinez is recent a James Beard winner and has seen her career in the culinary field skyrocket over the last decade. It’s also given Martinez a powerful platform to not only share the food that comes out of South Philly Barbacoa and Casa Mexico’s kitchens, but also stand up for issues that are near and dear to her and her community’s heart.

This week, Martinez took her platform to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to support the historic campaign of Shamaine Daniels, who is running against longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District.

Martinez was on the ground with Daniels’ team on Thursday, Oct. 6, canvassing Latino neighborhoods to come out and support Daniels on Election Day or via a mail-in ballot.

“Shamaine is a progressive and capable candidate, a mother, and an immigrant,” a post on South Philly Barbacoa’s Facebook reads.

Daniels was born in Venezuela and lived there until moving to the U.S. with her family in her adolescent years. They settled in Philadelphia and Daniels had dreams of being an ambassador before she decided to go to law school to become an immigration lawyer. 

Her career in law eventually brought her back to PA and Harrisburg, where she would eventually run and win a spot on Harrisburg City Council in 2013 — becoming the first Latina to sit on the governing body in its history. She rode to victory on the back of support from the oft-ignored Latino and Black communities of Harrisburg. 

The larger Latino and Black communities of PA’s Congressional District 10 are now in focus as Daniels chases more history to topple Perry and become the first Latino ever elected to Congress from Pennsylvania. 

At the start of the campaign, Daniels was seen as a longshot for beating Perry, but the polls have gotten razor thin, with some showing her ahead in the race. The longtime U.S. Rep. has faced growing criticism for his ties to the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Perry’s phone has been seized by the FBI for evidence, and he himself asked President Donald Trump for a pardon before the former commander-in-chief left office. The pardon never came.

In addition to Martinez’s recent appearance on the campaign trail, Daniels also recently got an endorsement from Latino Victory on Friday, Sept. 30. The endorsement now puts her campaign on the national scale when looking at Latinos seeking office in 2022.

Election Day is Nov. 8, and Daniels — with the help of Martinez and others — is making Central PA a place to watch when the day rolls around.

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