Latinas running for congress 2020
Photos via the campaigns of Michelle de la Isla, Georgette Gomez, and Candace Valenzuela
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7 Latinas Running for Congress in the 2020 General Election

2020 marks the centennial of women winning the right to vote, and while we may feel like we have made progress, we have to recognize that we haven’t made enough. There is so much work left to do for women in politics, especially for Latina women. The primaries are past us, and we have seven Latinas running for Congress in the general election coming up in November.

What the year has taught us it that change is long overdue, and it’s time to finally make that change happen. We need people like us, who represent us, in political office, who can make it a reality. We have leaders vying for the seat from California, Florida, Kansas, Indiana, New Mexico, and Texas, and it’s time to vote these ladies into office. Here is an introduction to the Latinas running for Congress, the roles they hold now, and what they hope to bring to Congress.

Georgette Gomez

Georgette Gomez is running for a seat representing California’s 53rd Congressional District. She wants to “stand up against Trump’s dangerous agenda and put the focus back on what working families in our community need.” Georgette was the first LGBTQ Latina to be elected as San Diego City Council President, and issues important to her are Medicare for All, reducing homelessness, expanding affordable housing, and defending immigrants’ rights.

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Ecuadorian Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is currently a U.S. Representative, representing Florida’s 26th Congressional District. She is the first Ecuadorian-American and the first South American to be elected to Congress. Mucarsel-Powell sits on the House Judiciary Committee on its Immigration &  Citizenship Subcommittee and Crime, Terrorism, & Homeland Security Subcommittee. She also sits on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, on the Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee, and Economic Development, Public Buildings, & Emergency Management Subcommittee.

Christina Hale

The other Latina running for a Congressional seat in Indiana is Christina Hale. The “lifelong Hoosier” was the second Latina to be elected to the Indiana General Assembly, and now she is on the ballot to represent the state’s 5th District. Issues Hale wants to fight for include lowering health care costs, improving the lives of children, and protecting our environment.

Michelle De La Isla

In the Midwest, Nuyorican Michelle de la Isla is running for Congress, in Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District. Michelle is the current Mayor of Topeka, the first Latina, first single mother, and the second woman to hold the honor. Before that, she was on the Topeka City Council, from 2013-2018.

Xochitl Torres Small

New Mexico Chicana Xochitl Torres Small is running for Congress in New Mexico, in its 2nd Congressional District. She worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert C. Brack, a federal judge, and hopes to use that experience to fix the broken immigration system, as well as face other issues such as education, economic development, and Veterans Affairs.

Teresa Leger Fernandez

Also running for Congress in New Mexico, in its 3rd Congressional District is Teresa Leger Fernandez. The Latina was appointed by President Obama to serve as Vice-Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and was also appointed by President Clinton to be a White House Fellow. Issues important to Leger Fernandez are Medicare for All, reproductive freedom, sustainability, immigration policy, the economy, protection from gun violence, diversity, and more.

Candace Valenzuela

Our next Latina hopeful for U.S. Representative takes us to the state of Texas, and its 24th Congressional District. Afro-Mexican Candace Valenzuela has endorsements from political powerhouses including President Barack Obama, the late Representative John Lewis, and Senator Kamala Harris, and was “the first Latina and first African-American woman to serve on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school board. As a member of Congress, she aims to fight for criminal justice reform, immigration reform, expanding job and skill training, defending a woman’s right to choose, preventing gun violence, addressing income equality, and other important issues.

 

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