Numerous Latino candidates were elected to office thanks in great part to the Republican wave that swept the country this mid-term election. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released the following statement:
“Latino candidates contributed to significant Republican Party gains nationwide at the state and federal level, and several made history in the process.
In New Mexico, Santa Fe district attorney Susanna Martínez becomes the nation’s first Latina elected governor. She is joined by Lt. Governor-elect John Sánchez. They were the state’s first Latino Republicans to run for the top two elected positions. In Nevada, former judge Brian Sandoval, becomes that state’s first Hispanic governor.
Several Latinos have contributed to the new Republican majority of the U.S. House of Representatives. In Washington State, Representative Jaime Herrera becomes the first Hispanic to represent the state in the U.S. Congress. In Texas, businessman and political newcomer Bill Flores defeats ten-term incumbent Rep. Chet Edwards (D). In several other congressional races yet to be determined, Latino Republican challengers have been mounting strong runs against Latino Democratic incumbents.
In Florida, former State House Speaker Marco Rubio is elected to the U.S. Senate for the seat once held by retired Senator Mel Martínez.
In addition, there were notable gains made by some Democratic Latino candidates, including Colorado State University-Pueblo President Joseph García, who becomes the state’s first Lt. Governor.