The number of Latinos serving in the U.S. House of Representatives could reach a record of 32 after the November midterm elections, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).
Currently, there are 28 Latinos serving in the House. NALEO pointed out on Tuesday that two of them are vacating their seats and are likely to be replaced by two Latinos. In Arizona, former state Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, is slated to win the 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor. And in California, state Sen. Norma Torres, a Democrat, is also likely to win the race for the seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod.
NALEO also noted that an additional four Latino candidates are running for House seats. Among them are two Latinos who have good prospects of winning: Maryland state Sen. Alex Mooney, a Republican who is looking to be the first Latino elected to represent West Virginia in the House of Representatives, and Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat seeking to win the the 31st Congressional District seat.
Two Latino candidates running in more competitive races are former U.S. Senate staffer Amanda Renteria, a Democrat who is trying to unseat Republican incumbent David Valadao in Californias 21st Congressional District, and state Rep. Marilinda Garcia, a Republican who is facing a competitive race to win New Hampshires 2nd Congressional District seat.
If all six Latino candidates are elected in November, they will join the three Latinos currently serving in the Senate, none of whom are seeking re-election this year. That would bring the total number of Latinos serving in Congress to a record of 35.
NALEO made this known through a report released Tuesday that examines races involving Latino candidates. The report includes a state-by-state analysis of Latino candidates running for federal and state legislative offices.
At the state level, the report identified 19 Latinos who are running for statewide offices. Among them are New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, both of whom are Republican and face good prospects of re-election.
The report also noted that while the number of Latinos serving in state senates is expected to remain at 73, the number of Latinos serving in state lower houses could go from 222 to 235.
The report comes several months after NALEO released another report in which it projected that 7.8 million Latinos will turn out to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. Thats an increase of 1.2 million from the midterm elections in 2010.