20 Badass Latinas Shaping the 2018 Midterm Elections
With heated debates taking place in Washington over issues like immigration, reproductive rights, and affordable healthcare, every Latina should be paying attention to the 2018 Midterm Elections. These 20 badass candidates and organizers are getting involved in a real way and certainly making 2018 a year to remember. Above all, even more Latinas are running for office in 2018 than ever before, and making sure our voices are heard.
So read up on the candidates, and also make sure you’re registered to vote on November 6th.
1. Veronica Escobar
Credit: Veronica Escobar. Digital Image. Veronica Escobar for Congress.
Running for: Congress, Texas 16th District
Sylvia Garcia is running in Texas’s 16th District and will likely become the first Latina congresswoman from the state of Texas. Garcia is a former El Paso County judge and she has proved herself a true opponent of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
2. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Credit: Instagram. @ocasio2018
Running for: Congress, New York 14th District
The 28-year-old Puerto Rican activist from the state of New York made headlines for beating one of Congress’s most powerful Democrats in the primary by almost 15 points. And now, she’s on her way to be the youngest woman to ever sit in the House of Representatives.
3. Jana Sanchez
Credit: Twitter. @janasanchez
Running for: Congress, Texas 6th District
Jana Sanchez has the potential to make one of the biggest political upsets this November, flipping the red Texas 6th District with her progressive platform. Sanchez’s grandparents were migrant farmworkers in the district, and as a result, voters are paying attention to her strong ties to the community.
4. Ximena Hartsock@Ximenahartsock / Instagram
Founder of Phone2Action
Chilean-born Ximena Hartsock founded Phone2Action after her work in DC politics showed her that many people want to contact their elected officials but don’t know how.
5. Lupe Valdez@LupeValdez / Instagram
Credit: Twitter. @LupeValdez
Running for: Governor of Texas
Lupe Valdez made history as the first Latina nominated for governor in Texas by a major party. Valdez has been the Sheriff of Dallas County for over a decade, and she hopes to bring important issues like equal pay, reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality to the table in Texas.
6. America Ferrera@AmericaFerrera/ Twitter
The “Superstore” actress and new mom has been a vocal opponent of President Trump’s immigration policies from the beginning. She is also an active member of several organizing groups, including the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, and Voto Latino.
7. Xochitl Torres Small@XochforCongress / Twitter
Running for: Congress, New Mexico 2nd District
This 33-year-old lawyer is hoping to shake up New Mexico’s mostly Republican 2nd district. Torres Small believes her strong hometown connection to the community and its needs will cut through the district’s right-leaning politics.
8 Lea Marquez Peterson@LeaPeterson / Twitter
Running for: Congress, Arizona 2nd District
Lea Marquez Peterson is a Republican candidate for Congress from Arizona, and she’s also in a very tight race. Peterson is leaning on her experience as President & CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to push for growth and more jobs in her district.
9. Maria Elvira Salazar@maelvirasalazar/ Twitter
Running for: Congress, Florida 27th District
After spending much of her career reporting on politics, Cuban-American journalist Maria Elvira Salazar is turning the table and consequently running for Congress in Florida’s 27th District.
10. Christina Lopez
Credit: Twitter. @christinajopez
Regional Organizing Director for Nevada Democrats
Nevada is very important in this election for Democrats hoping to take back the Senate. As a result, organizers like Christina Lopez are on the ground every day, knocking on doors, talking to people about their vote, and above all, proving that real change starts with grassroots efforts.
11. Sylvia Garcia@SenatorSylvia
Running for: Congress, Texas 29th District
State Senator Sylvia Garcia is running for Congress in the Texas 29th, after a strong win in the March 6th primary. She’s also a strong supporter of “better jobs, healthcare, and education” for all Americans, as well as equal pay and LGBTQ rights.
12. Kate Marshall@KateMarshallNV / Twitter
Running for: Lieutenant Governor of Nevada
Kate Marshall, whose family came to the US from Mexico in 1921, is seeking the Lieutenant Governor’s position in Nevada. In addition to a plan to clean up Carson City, Marshall also hopes to push for affordable housing and a stronger economy for her state.
13. Juana Matias@Juana_B_Matias / Twitter
Running for: Congress, Massachusetts 3rd District
Thirty-year-old Juana Matias made waves in 2016 when she beat an established Massachusetts politician and became a state representative. Two years later, it seems like she’s set her sights on the US House of Representatives, where if she wins, she’ll be the first Latina sent from her state.
14. Gina Ortiz Jones
Credit: Ana Isabel Photography. Digital Image. Gina Ortiz Jones for Congress.
Running for: Congress, Texas 23rd District
Gina Ortiz Jones is in one of the most competitive races this November, against a Republican Congressman in the Texas 23rd. If she wins, she’ll be not only the first woman to represent her district in Congress but also the first openly gay woman of color AND the first Iraq War vet to represent Texas in Congress.
15. Talia Fuentes@TaliaForScience / Twitter
Running for: Congress, Arizona 9th District
Talia Fuentes is a Democrat, a single mom, and a former radio DJ. She was inspired to run for office by Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 platform, and therefore Fuentes fights for issues like science-based policy, Medicare for all, as well as legal protection for DREAMers.
16. Sindy M. BenavidesSagrario Ortiz / Facebook
Credit: Sindy M. Benavides. Digital Image. LULAC.org.
Chief Operating Officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens
The League of United Latin American Citizens’ (LULAC) works to advance the education, health, and political power of Hispanic communities in the US. As COO of the organization, Sindy Benavides works on issues from Latinx voter turnout to education.
17. Erika Andiola@eandiola / Instagram
Credit: Instagram @eandiola
Erika Andiola is an openly undocumented Mexican-American and a powerful voice for a group that is often silent out of fear. In the 2016 election, Andiola was Press Secretary for Latino Outreach for the Sanders Campaign. She now spends her time organizing and fighting for immigration reform and other key issues.
18. Rosario Dawsonrosariodawson / Instagram
Credit: @Instgram. @rosariodawson
Actress and activist Rosario Dawson sits on the board of Voto Latino, a group dedicated to empowering Latinx candidates for leadership roles and running for office. Since it was founded in 2004, Voto Latino has registered over half a million new voters.
19. Betsaida Alcantara@Betsaida_11 / Twitter
Communications and Digital at Anti-Defamation League
A former communications staff member on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s Presidential campaigns, Alcantara now works with the Anti-Defamation League. In 2018, the ADL works to fight against hate crimes, white supremacy, and extremism in America.
20. Delores Huerta
Credit: Twitter. @DoloresHuerta
Founder of the Delores Huerta Foundation and OG Badass Latina
At 87-years-old, iconic activist Delores Huerta is still marching the streets, as well as recently participating in a hunger strike over family separations at the border. Consequently, her foundation works to pursue social justice for all people.
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