A key ingredient to flip the House: A wave of Latino GOP candidates

By Ally Mutnick

A large and diverse group of Latino candidates will be representing the Republican Party on the November ballot this year — forming a key piece of the party’s push to win more Latino voters.

House Republicans could be on track to increase their number of Latino members in 2023 by 50 percent — or more — after concerted recruitment efforts and a slew of summer primary wins by Hispanic and Latino candidates from Oregon to Texas to Virginia. The latest victory came Tuesday night in southern Arizona from Juan Ciscomani, a first-generation American who moved from Mexico to the U.S. as a child and worked on border and trade issues as a top adviser to GOP Gov. Doug Ducey.

Now, the party has landed Hispanic nominees in more than a half dozen battleground districts — and another three are well positioned to win their primaries over the next month. It’s a diversity push that takes on added significance because the GOP has recently begun aggressively courting Latino voters since Trump’s surprising surge in heavily Hispanic areas of the country in 2020.

“The Hispanic community has felt kind of in the middle, ignored,” Ciscomani said. Democrats have taken them for granted, he noted, while Republicans have not often considered them to be persuadable voters.

“I will definitely not do either one of those,” he continued. “I spoke to them yesterday in Spanish in my acceptance victory speech — a good portion of that was devoted in Spanish to let our community know that we’re going to be reaching out.”

Taken altogether, GOP recruiters are working to build a large bench of Latino candidates who will be well-positioned to both win over Hispanic voters becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Biden administration and also offer a unique perspective on policy issues once in office.

“I went through the process of immigrating. My career has been on trade and commerce cross-border, and border security is my No. 1 issue,” Ciscomani said. “That’s what I’m taking to Washington in November.”

Besides Ciscomani, there are a slew of potential new members who could flip Democratic-held seats this fall.

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