Alex Padilla, Calif. State Senator and president of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), issued the following statement regarding the historic gains of Latino candidates on Election Night:
“The Latino community played a clear and decisive role in Election 2012, demonstrating the growing ability of Latinos to shape the nation’s political landscape both as a growing electorate and as candidates. There will be 28 Latinos serving in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 113th Congress, making them the largest class of Latinos in the House in our nation’s history.
“NALEO congratulates these representatives and, in particular, the nine who will serve in the House of Representatives for the first time: Los Angeles City Councilmember Tony Cardenas (D- Calif.), State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D- Calif.), Dr. Raul Ruiz (D – Calif.), State Senator Juan Vargas (D – Calif.), Attorney Joe Garcia (D – Fla.), former Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham (D – N.M.), State Rep. Joaquin Castro (D – Texas), State Rep. Pete Gallego (D- Texas), and Attorney Filemon Vela, Jr. (D- Texas).
“We also congratulate former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) for becoming the first Latino in history to represent the state of Texas in the U.S. Senate as well as the 276 Latino state legislators who will serve in 36 state capitals next year.
“An informed and engaged Latino electorate has led to increased political representation for the Latino community in our nation’s Capitol and in state legislatures across the country. This is an exciting time for the Latino community, and NALEO looks forward to working with this new generation of Latino elected officials and supporting them in their leadership of our country.”