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Latinos Make History In WV and RI, Curbelo Defeats Garcia in FL

Republican Carlos Curbelo ousted Florida incumbent Democrat Rep. Joe Garcia, who had been saddled with ethics issues regarding a former campaign staffer during the campaign.

Curbelo, a former Miami-Dade County school board member who also works as political consultant and lobbyist, held a small but insurmountable lead a few hours after polls closed and Garcia conceded.

The highly competitive race for a South Florida seat was a face-off for two candidates of Cuban descent. Garcia had been the lead sponsor of the Democrats' comprehensive immigration reform bill, which got no traction in the GOP-controlled House.

Democrat Nellie Gorbea became the first Hispanic to be elected statewide in all of New England Tuesday night with Rhode Island voters choosing her to be their secretary of state.

Gorbea, who is Puerto Rican, had won an endorsement from Emily's List in her campaign against Republican John Carlevale Sr. A Princeton and Columbia graduate, Gorbea previously had served as a deputy secretary of state.

In West Virginia, Republican Alex Mooney - whose mother was born in Cuba - becomes the first Latino to be elected to Congress for the state, represented the 2nd Congressional District, winning the seat Shelley Moore Capito had held for the GOP for seven terms. Mooney was formerly the chairman of the Maryland Republican party.

Image: Alex Mooney
West Virginia Republican state sen. Alex Mooney, speaking at a Working for Jobs Rally in Beckley, W.Va., Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, became the first Latino to win a congressional seat in the state. Chris Tilley / AP file

In New Hampshire Republican state legislator Marilinda Garcia lost her congressional bid to Democratic incumbent Ann Kuster.