Latinos in U.S. House of Representatives
Latinos also secured notable victories at the statewide executive level, resulting in
at least 12 Latinos serving at top state posts across the country
Washington, D.C. – According to Election 2014 analysis from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, Latino congressional and statewide executive level candidates made history on Election Night. Rosters of Latinos who will serve in Congress (page 2) and at the statewide executive level (page 3) are available here.
“Latino candidates made history on Election Night, securing groundbreaking victories in contests across the country and in both political parties,” stated Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO Educational Fund. “We witnessed Latino statewide executive office candidates win in non-traditional states nationwide, with Latinos also securing the numbers needed to form the largest congressional class of Latinos in history. Latinos will continue to shape the nation’s political landscape as candidates, demonstrating their ability to lead and win at all levels of office.”
Latino representation in the U.S. House of Representatives will see an increase of one in the 114th Congress, bringing the total number of Latinos serving in this office to 29. Set to comprise the largest class of Latinos serving in the U.S. House of Representatives in history, the 114th Congress will feature five new Latino Members of Congress. The new Latino Members of Congress will include:
- Ruben Gallego (D) – AZ-7: After running unopposed in the general election, former State Rep. Gallego will fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor (D).
- Pete Aguilar (D) – CA–31: Defeating small business owner Paul Chabot (R), Redlands Mayor Aguilar will fill the seat being left vacant by retiring U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R).
- Norma Torres (D) – CA-35: State Sen. Torres won her contest against small business owner Christina Gagnier (D) to fill the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D).
- Carlos Curbelo (R) – FL-26: Miami-Dade School Board member Curbelo (R) defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia in one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation.
- Alex Mooney (R) – WVA-2: In the 2nd Congressional District, former Maryland State Sen. Mooney (R) won a competitive open contest against small business professional Nick Casey (D) for the seat being vacated by incumbent U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R). He will be the first Latino to serve as a U.S. Representative in West Virginia.
A full roster of Latinos serving in the 114th Congress (page 2) and a state-by-state breakdown of Latino congressional gains (page 1) is available on the NALEO Educational Fund website here.
The 114th Congress will also feature a change in partisan composition among Latinos, shifting from 23 Democrats and five Republicans in the 113rd Congress to 22 Democrats (Loss: U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego; Gain: Pete Aguilar) and seven Republicans (Gain: Carlos Curbelo and Alex Mooney). The 29 Latino U.S. Representatives will join the three current Latino U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio, who were not up for reelection in 2014.
In addition, 12 Latinos (with the possibility of 13) will serve in statewide executive office following Election 2014, an increase of at least two. A full roster (page 3) of the Latinos that will be serving in statewide office in 2014 is available here.
Notable victories for Latino candidates at the statewide executive level include:
- First Latino California Secretary of State: NALEO President and State Sen. Alex Padilla (D) prevailed in his contest over Pete Peterson (R).*
- First Latino Illinois Lieutenant Governor: Attorney and Wheaton Councilmember Evelyn Sanguinetti (R) ran on the Republican ticket with investment professional and Gubernatorial Candidate Bruce Rauner. Both won their races on Election Night.*
- First Latino New England Statewide Official: In Rhode Island, former Deputy Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea (D) emerged victorious in her race against community college professor John Carlevale (R) for Secretary of State.*
- First Latino Texas Land Commissioner: Investment Adviser George P. Bush (R) won his contest against former El Paso City Councilmember John Cook, making him the first Latino to serve in this position.*
- New Mexico State Attorney General: Former NALEO Educational Fund Board Member and New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas (D) secured victory in his race against former Las Cruces prosecutor and District Judge Susan Riedel (R).
- New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval: Both incumbent Republican Governors emerged victorious in their reelection contests.
*This analysis is based on historical data from the NALEO Directory of Latino Elected Officials, which includes records on Latino office holders dating back to 1984.
According to research on Latino representation conducted prior to Election Day for the 2014 NALEO Directory of Latino Elected Officials, there were nearly 6,100 Latinos serving in elected office across the country. This is up from the 4,853 Latino elected officials who held office in 2004, demonstrating the progress Latinos continue to make in finding success as candidates. Additional information on Latino representation nationwide can be found here.
NALEO Educational Fund projected at least 7.8 million Latinos would cast ballots in Election 2014, an increase of 1.2 million from the 2010 midterm elections. In 2010, more than 6.6 million Latino voters cast ballots, with the Latino electorate playing a decisive role in delivering victories in key state races.