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Latino Candidates Make History On Election Night

Created: 09 November, 2012
Updated: 26 July, 2022
3 min read

The 113th Congress will feature the largest class of Latinos in the U.S. House of Representatives in our nation’s history
Latino Congressional candidates made history on Election Night, based on analysis of unofficial election results and media reports released by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.

The 113th Congress will feature 28 Latinos in the U.S. House of Representatives, making it the largest class in our nation’s history. Nine Latino members of the new Congress will serve in the U.S. House for the first time, including the following individuals:

· In a competitive race for the 36th congressional district in Calif., Dr. Raul Ruiz (D) unseated U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R), where he will serve as the first Latino to represent the eastern part of Riverside and Coachella Valley area;

· Los Angeles City Councilmember Tony Cardenas (D) will become the first Latino U.S. Representative from Southern Calif.’s San Fernando Valley area (29th congressional district);

· State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D) in the 35th congressional district of Calif., who unseated U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (D) in a close race;

· Texas State Rep. Joaquin Castro (D), who ran in the San Antonio area (20th congressional district), will fill the seat vacated by current Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Charles Gonzalez (D);

· In a rematch in the 26th district of Fl., Joe Garcia (D) defeated U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R);

· Former Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), who won in N.M.,’s Albuquerque area (1st congressional district), will be the first Latina in the state to serve as U.S. Rep.;

· Attorney Filemon Vela, Jr. (D) won in a newly-created district in South Texas that extends north from the Gulf Coast up to Gonzales County (34th congressional district);

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· Calif. State Senator Juan Vargas (D), who was victorious in a district that encompasses parts of three counties in the southernmost part of the state (51st congressional district); and

· Texas State Rep. Pete Gallego (D), who defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R) in an extremely competitive race for Texas’ 23rd congressional district.

Joining the U.S. Senate in the 113th Congress will be a third Latino. Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) will join reelected Senator Robert Menendez (D) and Marco Rubio, making history by winning his race against former State Rep. Paul Sadler (D) to become the first Latino to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate.

“Latinos played a key role in shaping the nation’s political landscape this year,” stated Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO Educational Fund. “Latinos demonstrated their power as both voters at the ballot box last night, and as congressional candidates that will make history in the 113th Congress.”

A full list of Latino candidates elected to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for the 113th Congress is available on our web-site at Table_2012.pdf.

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