Source: News & Observer
According to The News & Observer, North Carolina’s Hispanic population is underrepresented in this year’s midterm elections; with only 27 Latino candidates out of more than 2,000 on the ballot.
Currently, 14 Latinos hold political office in the state – with none at the congressional level. In this year’s midterm elections, a majority are running for county board of education, county commissioners, and the state’s House of Representatives.
The pool of candidates seems slim compared to the state’s Hispanic population growth over the last few years. According to an analysis by The News & Observer, 10.7% of the state’s population identifies as Hispanic, with 3.5% as registered voters.
The News & Observer notes that in order for representation to be proportional to the state’s population, there would have to be 17 to 18 Latino members among the 170 state legislators.
“The crazy thing about North Carolina is that it’s going to keep growing in importance because of the growing population,” stated Frederick Velez, National Director Of Civic Engagement at the Hispanic Federation. “In addition, North Carolina has a very young Hispanic population… which is now coming of age and getting politically involved.”
For now, Rep. Ricky Hurtado, a Democrat elected in 2020, is the only Latino member of the North Carolina General Assembly. When Hurtado won his seat for Alamance County, he became the only Latino elected to the state’s legislature that year.
“There is a lot at stake in these midterms elections, including key issues for our diverse community such as access to health care, jobs and inflation,” stated Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, President of El Centro Hispano. “For the more than 257,000 Latino and Hispanic voters in North Carolina, our votes are carrying not only our voices but our families and our community.”