According to Emily’s List, a non-profit dedicated to encouraging and supporting women running for office, 2018 is the “Year of the Latina,” so make sure you’re not asleep at the wheel. Right now, we are one of the most underrepresented constituencies in Congress. There are only nine of us in office, one in the Senate, and eight in the House of Representatives. That is a sorry state of affairs ladies. But it’s not so surprising when you consider that Texas, a majority-minority state, has YET to elect a Latina to any congressional office! HOW?! You’ll notice how many Latinas are running this year in the Lonestar state and how this election has a real chance to reshape politics in one of the largest states in the country for years to come. You’ll also notice that all of the candidates highlighted below are running on Democratic tickets because NO PUEDO con Latinxs who think it’s ok to run on the same ticket and in the same party as the current President — a man who has labeled us criminals, rapists, and most recently terrorists. #SorryNotSorry
We are obviously rooting for all the Black and Brown people here so we wanted to put together a special rundown of all of the Latina queens running in the midterm elections that you should vote for. Check it out below and make sure to get out and vote, and bring your mama, your papa, your friends, and your partners to vote too. Where there is a will, there is a way mi gente! So let’s make some history.
Lupe Valdez, Governor, Texas
Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is poised to be Texas’ first Hispanic governor and first openly queer one if she can win her tough race against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Standing firmly in the corner of veterans and voter rights, Valez would also be the nation’s first openly lesbian governor if she wins. Valdez is on the right side of every issue, and Texas would be lucky to have her as their representative. So, please Texas, #VoteValdez!
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York 14th Congressional District
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Own your power. . For so many, it’s radical to feel comfortable in your own skin – and to know that you are more than enough, just as you are. . One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” . So take up space. Speak up. Hold the door open and take others with you. Accept that you will be criticized no matter what – that is the price of fighting for change and innovation. I consider constructive criticism a blueprint for improvement and a medicine for ego. . Ultimately, the people who get down, stay focused in adversity, and do the thankless work of change are the ones who transform society. We can all be a part of that, if we so choose. We can all knock a door, register our cousin to vote, or educate ourselves on an issue we’re curious about. . We are all capable of awakening and commitment. And because of that, we can all be great. . 📸: @gigilaub
Perhaps the most well known Senate hopeful in the race is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She shocked the nation when she unseated Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley in a stunning upset victory during the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th congressional district. A self-described democratic socialist, Ocasio-Cortez hopes to push the party in a more progressive direction. She supports Medicare for All, a job guarantee, tuition-free public college, ending the privatization of prisons, and enacting gun-control policies and will be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Sylvia Garcia, Texas 29th Congressional District
#TshirtTues-sharing my fave tees. This one came from @latinovictoryus celebrating year of Latina this election cycle. One week & we make history! Vote. Early. Vote. Election Day. Latinas are leaders. @PODERPAC @emilyslist @AnniesListTX @LULAC pic.twitter.com/gFHBKzL9zA
— Sylvia R. Garcia (@LaCongresista) October 30, 2018
A native of the South Texas farming community, Palito Blanco, Garcia and Veronica Escobar (see below) are poised to become the first Latina congresswomen from Texas. Garcia has dedicated her life to service, first as a social worker, then as a lawyer and later judge. Sylvia was such an effective champion against the extreme right-wing attempt to license detention centers as state childcare facilities that her floor speech on these so-called baby jails made international news. She champions equal rights for women, economic equality and affordable and effective healthcare for all.
Veronica Escobar, Texas 16th Congressional District
Honored to be going on the @TexasTribune stage with @MariaTeresa1 and other great women providing the kind of leadership our country needs TODAY more than ever. #TribFest18 #YearoftheLatina pic.twitter.com/kDq0dhuq7x
— Veronica Escobar (@vgescobar) September 28, 2018
A native of El Paso, Escobar grew up on her family’s dairy farm alongside her four brothers. Currently running for the seat left vacant by Beto O’Rourke , Garcia said Trump motivated her greatly in her run for Congress. “He really frightens me and in a way that I haven’t been frightened before,” she says. “I worry about the planet. I worry about immigrants. I worry about women. I worry about the LGBT community. I worry about the El Paso and the border. And I feel this very intense sense of dread.” Amen sister.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Florida 26th Congressional District
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) November 1, 2018
As a first-generation immigrant who came to the U.S. with her mom and sisters, Mucarsel-Powell started working when she was just 15 years old to help put food on the table. Still, she never let that get in the way of her education, eventually graduating with an MA in International Political Economy. Murcasel-Powell was motivated to run because she saw many of the opportunities that she had been afforded evaporating for following generations. Lack of adequate healthcare and the unaffordability of college are two lynchpins in her political priorities.
Xochitl Torres Small, New Mexico 2nd Congressional District
The daughter of a social worker who grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico Torres worked hard and made her way to Georgetown University, where she graduated in just three years. After returning to New Mexico and earning her law degree, she decided to run for Congress. With a platform focused on creating an equal economic playing field and education, she’s taking on Republican candidate Yvette Herrell who favors building a border wall. “Instead of wasting billions on a new border wall and separating families, let’s actually fix the process for work visas,” Small said.
Jana Sanchez, Texas 6th Congressional District
Let’s do this!! pic.twitter.com/z2Xtkf267J
— Jana Lynne Sanchez (@janasanchez) October 22, 2018
Jana grew up the proud granddaughter of Mexican migrant farm workers and the daughter of a U.S. Marine. She’s a true progressive and supports amnesty for immigrants currently in the country and the complete and total legalization of marijuana. She is also a strong supporter of the second amendment but wants universal background checks and restricted allowance of guns for those with domestic abuse convictions. Jana Lynne Sanchez is a businesswoman and community leader and a former journalist and foreign correspondent running a strong campaign against extremist Ron Wright.