The Congress that takes office in January along with President-elect Donald Trump will feature the largest class of Hispanic elected officials in history, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials says.
The U.S. House of Representatives will include five more Latino members following Tuesday’s election, increasing the number from 29 to 34. Two other Hispanic members were elected, but replaced Hispanic members.
The seven new Latino members in the House, all Democrats, include Salud Carbajal, Nanette Diaz Barragan and Lou Correa of California; Darren Soto, the first Puerto Rican to represent Florida in the House of Representatives; Ruben Kihuen, the first Latino to represent Nevada in the House; Adriano Espaillat of New York, the first Dominican-American to serve in the House; and Vincente Gonzalez.
Latinos also made gains in the upper chamber, NALEO said, with the election of Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, the first Latina to serve in the election.
Polls had suggested Hispanic voters favored Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump, who has pledged to build a wall at the U.S. border with Mexico, but exit polls suggested Clinton failed to energize the voting bloc.
Still, NALEO said Hispanic voting made history.
“The Latino turnout surge was real in Election 2016,” NALEO executive director Arturo Vargas said. “A historic showing from Latino voters in states like California, Florida and Nevada, helped secure milestone victories for Latino candidates across the country.”
Latino statewide office holders will increase from 10 to 12, including Trinidad Navarro, a Democrat who won his bid for Delaware Insurance Commissioner and Susana Mendoza, a Democrat and the first Latina to serve as State Comptroller in Illinois.