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Latino Victory Fund Raises Money for GOP Hispanic Candidate

Image: Raul Danny Vargas, a GOP candidate for the Virginia Assembly,
Raul Danny Vargas, a GOP candidate for the Virginia Assembly, SUZANNE GAMBOA / NBC

WASHINGTON, D.C. _ A Latino political group founded by two Democratic Party donors held its first fundraiser for a Republican Hispanic candidate Tuesday.

Latino Victory Project’s political action committee, Latino Victory Fund, hosted the fundraiser for Raul “Danny” Vargas, who is on the GOP ballot for the Virginia House of Delegates.

Latino Victory Project and Fund were established by Henry Muñoz, the Democratic Party’s finance chair and actor Eva Longoria, who has been a major contributor and fundraiser for President Barack Obama and other Democrats. Part of the group's mission is to increase the numbers of Latinos in political office but it is a non-partisan group whose political agenda aligns more with Democrats.

“I’m thrilled,” said Vargas, who is vying for an open seat to replace the retiring Virginia State Delegate Tom Rust a Herndon, Va. Republican. He faces Democrat Jennifer Boysko in a Nov. 3 election. Vargas has written for NBC and appeared on some of its news shows.

At the fundraiser, Vargas said the timing of his candidacy is important.

"The time has come to make sure we’re focused on common sense solutions. The time has come to make sure we are bringing folks together on both sides of the aisle. The time has come to get rid of that hateful flag in South Carolina. The time has come to pass immigration reform in the U.S. Congress and the time has come to make sure we are represented from Florida to New York, from California to Washington and yes, even in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Vargas said.

The district has become more Democratic and is about 22 percent Latino. He announced his retirement a few months after surviving a tough re-election last year against Democrat Jennifer Boysko, a Democrat, who is running again this year.

“We meant it when we said we are non-partisan, so this is our first foray into spending time like this with a Republican candidate, said Cristobal Alex, Latino Victory Project/Fund president.The endorsement of candidates of either party who are Latino is important because "we don’t want our community taken for granted by any political party,” Alex said.