Press Statement

Midterm Results Show Clear Rejection of Politics of Hate, as Latino Candidates Make History

The most diverse Congress in history shows a path forward for Latinos and all Americans

November 7, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC—Latino voters came out in force during the 2018 midterm election, contributing to the takeover of the House of Representatives by Democrats. They joined other Americans to reject the politics of division and demonization, and voted for the issues that benefit all of us, including health care, job creation, and immigration. A record turnout of Latino voters in key states contributed to the next Congress being the most diverse in the nation’s history, with a record number of Black, Latino, women, Muslim, and LGBTQ Americans representing us in Washington. And several candidates who have stood with Trump’s hateful policies went down in defeat.

The following is a statement from UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía:

“Last night was a reckoning for the Trump administration’s cruel agenda of targeting Hispanics, immigrants, and other communities of color. The new House will not only provide long-overdue oversight of the Trump administration’s reckless and ill-conceived policies, but will give new life to issues like protecting the ACA, expanding voting rights, and ending inhumane immigration policies.

“And we are especially gratified that other Americans also rejected the politics of division and demonization. The Latino community’s long-time ‘axis of evil’—anti-immigrant candidates Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania, Corey Stewart in Virginia, and Kris Kobach in deep-red Kansas—lost their races by wide margins. Anyone who is considering copying President Trump’s bigoted immigrant-bashing should note that his three most ardent supporters on the issue were so decisively defeated.

“This was an especially meaningful election for Latinos, who didn’t just vote against hate and divisiveness, but voted for something: Latinos and other minority candidates who will represent the growing diversity of the country. Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar are the first two Latinas elected in Texas, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York is the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress.

“The record number of Latino, Black, Muslim, and LGBTQ Americans in Congress clearly signal that America is tired of candidates who want to pit us against each other. Unity and collaboration are at the heart of what we want for America, not fear and division.

“Tonight also was a victory for UnidosUS’s electoral mantra: candidates matter, issues matter, and meaningful outreach is nonnegotiable. Even though Beto O’Rourke lost in the end, he was the first candidate in more than two decades to make Democrats competitive in a statewide race in Texas. He did so by embracing an optimistic message, a progressive agenda in line with Texas’s diverse population, and by energizing voters who had been ignored in previous elections.

“While we were disappointed by the results in some states, particularly Florida, there is no question that the Latino community is fully aware that it has been disrespected and treated in a hostile matter by this administration and responded by participating in the midterm elections at unprecedented levels. Candidates on both sides of the aisle should take note.”

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact:
Camila Gallardo
cgallardo@unidosus.org
(305) 215-4259