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Culture

5 Latinas to Watch in the 2020 Election

In 2018 we saw an unprecedented number of young women of color running for office. With 2020 just around the corner, we’re wondering who will be the next Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. For sure, there are more Latinas running for office than ever before and 2020 will definitely be a race to watch since voters are no longer playing when it comes to the issues. We’ll all be looking more carefully at their platforms and what they intend to do about hot button issues like gun control, climate change, immigration reform, affordable housing, and healthcare. Here are 5 Latinas who are running for Congress and the Senate in 2020 that you should definitely keep an eye on.

Jessica Cisneros

Latina, Congress, Senate, candidate, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, latinas running for office, progressive

Democratic candidate Jessica Cisneros is running for Congressional district 28 in South Texas. Cisneros was born and raised in Laredo, Texas in the Sal Si Se Puede neighborhood. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and received her law degree from the University of Texas Law School. She specializes in immigration law and has worked as defending immigration cases for the Brooklyn Defenders Services in New York. She’s running on a platform of immigration reform, $15 minimum wage, fair trade deals, the green new deal, fixing public schools, women’s rights, fighting gun violence, and medicare for all. She’s also been endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! Cisneros is going up against incumbent Henry Cuellar, who is a Democrat on paper but has voted with Republicans nearly 70 percent of the time. He has voted consistently to defund women’s health and reproductive services. Cuellar also has an A rating from the NRA and takes thousands of dollars from big corporations.

Christina Tzintzun Ramirez

Latina, Congress, Senate, candidate, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, latinas running for office, progressive
Photo Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Entering the Senate race in Texas is Christina Tzintzun Ramirez. She’s a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin and well-respected labor and political organizer and activist. Ramirez is the co-founder of the Workers Defense Project and the Latinx advocacy group Jolt Texas. She has successfully taken on some of the most powerful corporations to ensure that families have safe and dignified jobs. She has already raised over $459,000 in the two months of her campaign without taking any corporate dollars. She hopes to create a Texas that has high-quality healthcare, an economy with good jobs, affordable higher education, a green future, and protection of the rights of immigrant families and communities of color. She is running against incumbent Republican John Cornyn along with democratic hopefuls Military veteran MJ Hegar State, Senator Royce West Houston, Congressman Chris Bell, Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards, and Sema Hernandez, who also ran against Beto O’Rourke in 2018.

Lorena Garcia

Latina, Congress, Senate, candidate, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, latinas running for office, progressive
photo: Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Lorena Garcia is a queer activist entering the race for Colorado Senate. She has worked in the non-profit sector her entire career working to implement programs that build up the dignity of marginalized and disenfranchised communities. Garcia is the Executive Director of the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition that focuses on curriculum and training designed to support parent education and healthy Latino families. She also holds a degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an MBA from George Washington University. Garcia is hoping to unseat incumbent Republican Cory Gardner who has voted with Trump over 90 percent of the time. Her platform includes pay equity for women and people of color, the green new deal, $15 minimum wage, Value Added Tax to make corporations pay their fair share, affordable housing, education, and immigration reform — just to name a few. You can read her detailed platform here.

Laura M. Montoya

Latina, Congress, Senate, candidate, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, latinas running for office, progressive

Running for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional district is Laura M. Montoya who has been the standing Sandoval County Treasurer since 2012. At the start of her career, she was one of the youngest Latina’s working in politics and has worked in New Mexico House of Representatives and the New Mexico Senate. Montoya got a BA in Political Science and Psychology and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from New Mexico Highlands University. She has worked on legislation that removes tax loopholes, increases the efficiency of tax collections, helped veterans, seniors, and disabled New Mexicans. Her platform includes a census without the citizenship question, broadband access for everyone, legalizing cannabis, increased educated and reform, closing the racial and gender wage gap, creating a path to citizenship, and funding substance abuse treatment programs just to name a few. You can read more about her platform here. She’s running against nine other Democrats and one republican. They are going up against incumbent Democrat Ben Ray Lujan.

Sema Hernandez

Latina, Congress, Senate, candidate, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, latinas running for office, progressive
Houston chronicle

Sema Hernandez is a first-generation, Mexican-American running for Senate in Texas. She was the first Latina in the history of Texas to run for the Democratic nomination back in 2018. Hernandez is the daughter of immigrants and the oldest of seven siblings. She worked in healthcare for six years while volunteering and organizing within the Houston area. She was the Co-Chair of the Texas Poor People’s Campaign until she resigned to run for Senate in 2018. She’s running on a Democratic socialist platform of single payer healthcare for all, free college and training for all, legalizing marijuana, fair trade deals, indigenous rights, cessation of militarization, criminal justice reform, equal rights, environmental rights, and equal pay. She’s running against incumbent John Cornyn who is endorsed by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. You can read about Sema’s platform here.