The Latino Victory Fund, the political arm of the Latino Victory Project, endorsed four 2016 congressional candidates Tuesday.
The project, whose views often align with Democrats, was formed to increase the number of Latinos holding public office.
"All four of these candidates are proven Latino leaders who have been champions for our community and the issues we care about," said Cristobal Alex, Latino Victory Fund president. Alex said more endorsements will follow later.
The four endorsed candidates:
_ Nanette Barragan is a Democrat seeking to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn. She was the first Latina to serve on Hermosa Beach, California's City Council. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Barragan is an attorney who was raised in Carson, California. She has been endorsed by Emily's List as well. She faces state Sen. Isadore Hall, also a Democrat, who has been endorsed by the National Organization for Women.
_ Darren Soto, a Democratic member of the Florida Senate, is seeking to replace Rep. Alan Grayson, who is running for Senate, in Florida's 9th Congressional District. Soto's father is from Puerto Rico and he was born in New Jersey. An attorney in Florida, Soto was elected to the Florida Senate in 2007 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2010. Four other Democrats are also in the race.
_Pete Gallego is a former congressman who lost his race for re-election in 2014 to Republican Will Hurd. But the seat in the sprawling Texas House 23 district has changed parties in the last three elections. Gallego, born and raised in Alpine, which is in the district, was the first Latino elected to the Texas Legislature from West Texas.
_ Salud Carbajal is seeking the California Congressional District 24 seat. The incumbent Rep. Lois Capps, a Democrat, is retiring. Carbajal served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, which included serving in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He was elected in 2004 to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. Two other Democrats and one Republican also are seeking the seat.