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 Californias 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 years senate election.
But of course, Ms. Harris has every right to run; after all shes 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 Californias 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.
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, its 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 years national election.
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, Horaces 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.
Horaces 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 countrys well being.