Dem Party’s Blunder Costs Them the Latino Vote


Leading Latino organizations, as well as 50 percent of Latina Democratic House members, have endorsed Andrea Salinas.

She has the endorsement of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ campaigns wing in her bid to become Oregon’s first Latina in Congress.

Last week, though, Salinas’ campaign received an unexpected setback from the Democratic House PAC, which is closely affiliated to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The House Democrats’ major super PAC decided to intervene in the primaries, spending $1 million on television ads in support of a white, first-time candidate in a newly formed district with a Latino population of more than 20%.

That decision has sparked considerable outrage, with Democratic strategists and Latino leaders expressing their displeasure with what they regard as an unnecessary blunder.

It’s proof, they believe, that the party failed to entice and court Latino voters, as well as to take seriously the party’s historic loss of support among those voters.

The backlash to HMP’s support for Carrick Flynn comes at an inopportune time for Democrats.

The controversy comes at a time when Republicans are gaining traction among Latino voters, and it reminds people of the Democratic Party’s ongoing problems and internal debate regarding the success of its appeal to the Latino electorate.

HMP’s decision to act on Flynn’s behalf in a competitive primary is not mentioned in Flynn’s CV.

In his campaign profile, Flynn, a political newcomer, is presented as a citizen of small-town Oregon who grew up underprivileged yet went on to Yale Law School.

HMP’s endorsement of Flynn, which came little over a month before the primary on May 17, surprised Latino groups and leftist strategists. HMP usually arrives after a Democrat candidate has been chosen, rather than before.

BOLD PAC, the political arm of the House Hispanic Caucus, was so impressed with Salinas that it included her in its initial list of recommendations this year.

They and other Democrats point to her as an example of a viable Latina candidate with all of the essential qualifications to win in the newly redistricted district.