A Senate seat in California, is it all but lost for Hispanics?

Immediately after Senator Barbara Boxer announced her decision to retire from the senate, several prominent African-American and white Democrats rallied behind the candidacy of California’s Attorney General,…

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FILE: California Attorney General Kamala Harris speaks at a news conference at the State of California building in San Francisco. Kamala Harris has thrown her hat in the Senate race of the state, but some say Democrats shouldn’t declare her win shoo-in so early in the race. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Immediately after Senator Barbara Boxer announced her decision to retire from the senate, several prominent African-American and white Democrats rallied behind the candidacy of California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris. It’s interesting that in a state where Hispanics total almost 40% of the population, compared to only 6% for African Americans, that a woman of Jamaican and Indian background would be the one to beat in next year’s senate election.

But of course, Ms. Harris has every right to run; after all she’s build a tremendous reputation for herself as the law enforcement officer of the state, and has many admirers, including President Barack Obama. But the thing that stands out here and screams at us is the manner in which prominent liberals of that state — and of the media — rushed to preordain her as the sole candidate.

Some, even already declaring on television that Kamala Harris is California’s next senator.

I guess these folks forgot intentionally or otherwise, that there are other people in California that may want to run for the seat too, especially those of Hispanic heritage.

SEE ALSO: Why is California President Obama’s safe haven?

Potential Latino candidates are abundant in California

They should be afforded that opportunity without others calling the election before those interested have had a chance to throw their hat in the ring. There are many prominent Democrat Hispanics in California that may want to run, among those are; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Congressman Xavier Becerra and the popular former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. On the Republican side there are also a number of people that may be interested in running including another Latino, former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado.

With such a high Hispanic population, one would think that a Latino would emerge as the person to beat for the senate seat held by Boxer. In fact, it’s interesting that a Latino has not represented that state in the Senate. If Cuban-Americans can get elected from states where the Cuban population is not the majority, then certainly a Mexican American or another Latino can get elected from a heavily Hispanic populated state.

One can examine and assess the politics of California till the sun goes down, and still not understand the dynamics behind the lack of a Latino in the United States Senate from California. If the time is ever going to be right for Californianos to elect a person of Hispanic heritage to the senate, it’s the 2016 election cycle.

But even as I write this article, liberal Black and White Democrats are pushing forward with Kamala Harris and essentially inviting Latinos to stay out of the race. California has a “blanket primary,” which means all senate candidates appear on the same ballot regardless of party affiliation; so the more the merrier. The senate primary election will be held on June 7, 2016 with the top two candidates advancing to next year’s national election.

President Barack Obama signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, Friday, July 27, 2012, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. From left are,  Richard Stone, chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Howard Friedman, past chair of the Board, AIPAC, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, Friday, July 27, 2012, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Outgoing Senator Barbara Boxer stands next to him. Democrats in the state have been quick to point to a Black candidate as a replacement, and Obama himself is a supporter of Kamala Harris. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

California need Hispanic representation in the Senate

This is the time for California Latinos to stand up and fight against the tide and declare their right to “Carpe Diem,” Horace’s famous words from the Odes published in 23 BC. His words were meant not to ignore the future but rather not to trust that everything is going to fall into place unless ones takes action for the future today.

Horace’s words were relevant for his time as they are in America today. Latinos may comprise approximately 50 million in this country, but their numbers in importance can best be measured by their political and economic contributions and influence, which at present is lacking at best. The senate seat in California can be a demonstration of Hispanic power if Hispanics choose to make it so, and other similar actions can follow in other states.

Otherwise, Hispanics will once again be left talking to themselves and whistling by the graveyard as everyone around them continues to “pre ordain” their favorite non Hispanic person for powerful political seats, and such action is in fact a detriment to this great country’s well being.

SEE ALSO: California is ready to deliver driver’s licenses to the undocumented