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Latinos Gain 1 Seat In Congress, More GOP Members

Latinos gained one seat in Congress for a total of 29 come January, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). There was a partisan shift; it will go from 23 Latino Democrats and 5 Republicans in Congress to 22 Democrats and 7 Republicans after the losses of Florida Democratic congressman Joe Garcia and Texas congressman Pete Gallego.

Here are some of the candidates as noted by NALEO:

  • Ruben Gallego (D) – AZ-7: Gallego ran unopposed in the general election and vacates the seat of former Latino congressman Rep. Ed Pastor (D).
  • Pete Aguilar (D) – CA–31: The Redlands, CA mayor won his race against small business owner Paul Chabot (R) to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R).
  • Norma Torres (D) – CA-35: State Senator Torres won her crontest against another Democrat, small business owner Christina Gagnier (D) to fill the seat currently held by Latina congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod (D).
  • Carlos Curbelo (R) – FL-26: In a hard-fought race, Cuban American Carlos Curbelo, a Miami-Dade School Board member, defeated another Cuban American, Democratic congressman Joe Garcia.
  • Alex Mooney (R) – WVA-2: The former state senator, who is Cuban American won the race against Nick Casey (D) and becomes the first Latino to serve as a U.S. Representative in West Virginia.

A full list of Latinos in the 114th Congress is available here.

In statewide contests, 12 Latinos (possibly 13) will serve in statewide executive office come January, an increase of at least two. A full list is here.

Here are some of the statewide Latino winners.

  • First Latino California Secretary of State: State Sen. Alex Padilla (D) - who is president of NALEO - won over Pete Peterson (R).*
  • First Latino Illinois Lieutenant Governor: Attorney and Wheaton, IL Councilmember Evelyn Sanguinetti (R) ran with gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner; both won.
  • First Latino New England Statewide Official: In Rhode Island, former Deputy Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea (D), who is Puerto Rican, won her race against community college professor John Carlevale (R) for Rhode Island Secretary of State.
  • First Latino Texas Land Commissioner: Investment Adviser George P. Bush (R) won against former El Paso City Councilmember John Cook, making him the first Latino in this slot.
  • New Mexico State Attorney General: Former NALEO Educational Fund Board Member and New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas (D) won his race against District Judge Susan Riedel (R).
  • New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval: Both incumbent Republican Governors won their reelection contests.