More Hispanic candidates are running for seats in the U.S. Congress

The 2012 election is shaping up as a big one in the House for Hispanics, says a news story from Fox News Latino. There are currently 29 in the House — including a Pacific islands delegate and Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner — according to the Congressional Research Service.

That number is virtually guaranteed to increase by at least three or four seats because of once-a-decade redistricting that’s created new Hispanic-majority districts in California and Texas. On top of that, Hispanics could win more seats in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Florida.
“It’s a watershed election for the Latino community,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. “Our ability to influence decisions is evident and present and our ability to motivate voters is critical.”
Hispanics are the fastest-growing group in the United States, increasing in population by more than 15 million between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census data. They make up more than 16 percent of the U.S. population, far more than their share of roughly 5 percent of the seats in the House.
In comparison, blacks comprise roughly 10 percent of the House, compared to about 12 percent of the U.S. population.  Asian-Americans in the House are roughly 2 percent of the chamber compared to roughly 5 percent of the U.S. population.
Both parties say Hispanic candidates are pivotal in this year’s race for control of the House.
Democrats, who need a net gain of 25 seats to take a majority, say Hispanic candidates could make up a fifth or more of that margin. Republicans, challenging in fewer districts because of their large current majority, have recruited strong Hispanic candidates for a handful of districts seen as opportunities to snatch Democratic seats.

California is expected to be the center of Hispanic increases in Congress. Democrats are running two Hispanic candidates likely to win in the fall: Tony Cardenas, a Los Angeles City councilman, and Juan Vargas, a state senator and son of Mexican immigrants.

Hispanic candidates are figuring prominently in other states where the Hispanic population has grown quickly.

Read more of this story here:



About tanialara

Tania Lara has a vast experience working as a journalist in Mexico and the U.S. reporting in-depth about the economic contributions and realities of Mexican immigrants. This summer, she will be covering border issues and elections for the 21st Century Border Initiative blog. Her stories about complex cross border matters have been published in Spanish-language media outlets including CNN México, Expansión, and ¡Ahora Sí!, as well as the English-language newspaper The Austin American-Statesman.
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