A Seat at the Table: 10 Political Races to Watch This November
In 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to the United States Congress at just 29 years old. This year, she's running for reelection along with a slate of Latino candidates who could also make history.
Xochitl Torres Small
The Mexican American lawyer grew up in the desert community of Las Cruces, and is running to continue to represent New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District. The Democrat says watching her grandmother, a Mexican immigrant, working in the fields to pursue her American dream motivated her to make a positive difference as a politician.
Norma Torres , the only member of Congress born in Guatemala, is running to continue to represent California's 35th Congressional District. The Democrat says she wants to see more women of color in government positions. "If you are a Latina out there hoping to get into politics, stop staring at yourself in the mirror and waiting for someone to tell you to run for office," she tells People CHICA. "This is your time."
If elected (he's running in New York's 15th Congressional Distrcit), Torres would become the first Afro-Latino and openly gay Black member of Congress. "I would not be here today if it were not for my mother," the Puerto Rican Democrat told TIME. "The South Bronx is full of mothers like mine who have have suffered, struggled, and sacrificed so we can have a better life. The opportunity to represent the essential workers of this borough and the powerful mothers of the Bronx would be the culmination of a dream."
The Ecuadorian congresswoman, a Democrat, is running for reelection in Florida's 26th Congressional District. She is wants to lower health care costs, enact common sense gun reform, and work to combat climate change.
Democrat Candace Valenzuela, an advocate for children and education, is a Mexican American nominee for Congress in Texas's 24th District. The daughter of U.S. Army veterans, she overcame homelessness and other hardships before devoting herself to politics and serving others in need. If elected, she would become the first Afro-Latina in Congress.
Carlos Gimenez is running to represent Florida's 26th Congressional District. The Cuban Republican was a firefighter before becoming Miami's current mayor. "I'm proud of my record of bipartisan leadership, protecting our environment and cutting taxes," he has tweeted. "That's the experience I'll take to Congress, but I need your help to get there!"
María Elvira Salazar
The Republican Cuban American journalist and Emmy-winning TV host is pursuing her passion for politics. María Elvira Salazar is running to represent Florida's 27th Congressional District. "I am committed to preserving the natural assets of this state and country," she wrote on Twitter. "We must continue to promote innovative programs that cross bipartisan lines to deliver."
Michelle de la Isla
De la Isla, of Puerto Rican descent, is the first Latina, first single mother, and second woman to serve as mayor of Topeka. Now she's running to represent Kansas's 2nd Congressional District. "Never forget, people fought for our right to vote," she tweeted. "I vote in my heart for those who can't. Do so to restore the soul of our country."
Anna Paulina Luna
The Mexican American, who is running to represent Florida's 13th Congressional District, identifies herself as a Christian, Republican, and U.S. Army veteran. "Our nation will not survive if we continue down this path of division," she's written on Twitter. "The violence has to end and elected officials that call for violence are only out for their own agenda."
The Democrat, of Puerto Rican descent, is running for reelection in New York's 14th Congressional District. "As a child, I grew up reading books on the staircases of other people's homes and doing homework on other people's dinner tables, because my mom was pursuing domestic work so that I could go on field trips and have a future," she has said. "When you all are fighting for this, you are fighting for little girls like me." Besides co-sponsoring the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act, she champions progressive policies such as tuition-free public college and trade schools for everyone, student debt cancellation, and stricter gun control.
Join People en Español for Poderosas Live this month. On September 26, panelists María Elena Salinas, Astrid Silva, and Alma Couverthie will discuss why it's important to vote and how your participation can affect your community. Click here to sign up for the free virtual conference!