By my count there are more than 30 Latino candidates on the primary ballot this Tuesday.
It's great to see so many Latino politicians participating in the political process and many of them have an independent voice. Who knows maybe one day we'll see a Latino mayor of Chicago or a Latino president.
But for now we have plenty of candidates running for a variety of seats from Congress to Cook County Board of Commissioners, Cook County Assessor and the state legislature.
Here are a few of the most interesting races and my picks for who should win.
In the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional district, immigrant rights activist Jorge Mujica is challenging incumbent Rep. Daniel Lipinski. Mujica was a lead organizer of the mega marches for immigration reform in 2006 and is a former union organizer. A native of Mexico, he is a dual citizen and has lived in Chicago since 1988.
Lipinski is the son of former Congressman William Lipinski, who was in
office for 11 terms, and paved the way for his son's election. He is
considered a conservative Democrat who has named Ronald Reagan as his
hero. He also is conservative on social issues and immigration.
support Mujica although I fear he doesn't stand a chance against the
Democratic machine that supports Lipinski. That's really unfortunate
because Lipinski acts like a Republican and the Democrats should
support candidates that reflect their values.
It will be an interesting race since the district is home to more than 75,000 immigrant voters that Mujica is trying to organize. If they turn out, maybe we could see an upset.
For the Cook County Board of Commissioners, there are Latino candidates running in five of the districts.
In the 3rd District, Monica Torres-Linares is running against Jerry "Iceman" Butler and Ronald Oliver. Torres-Linares is a former public defender and president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. I support her because I think she would bring a new and independent voice to the board.
In the 6th District, two reform candidates, Nick Valadez and John Fairman are the lead candidates challenging incumbent Joan Patricia Murphy. I support Nick Valadez, an attorney from Oak Forest who has worked to help low-income and blue collar workers gain access to legal services.
In the 7th District, former alderman and state legislator Jesus G. "Chuy" Garcia is running against incumbent Joseph Mario Moreno. Moreno has been an ally of Todd Stroger and that is reason enough not to vote for him. I support Garcia who was an independent on the City Council and as a state senator and will help bring reform to the county board.
In the 8th District, there are three Latino candidates Javier "Xavier" Nogueras, Edwin Reyes and Ariel Rosa. Reyes was appointed to the board last year. Both the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times have endorsed Nogueras. He was formerly the Chicago director of the Midwest Voter Registration Project and was an advisor for Obama's National Latino Outreach Team. He is a good choice.
In the 16th District Eddy Garcia,a former alderman from Northlake, is running against Bill Russ and Jeffrey R. Tobolski. Tobolski, endorsed by the Tribune and the Sun-Times is the mayor of McCook and is viewed as a respected independent. Garcia also looks like a credible candidate but the Democrat in this race will have a hard time defeating incumbent Republican Tony Peraica in the fall election.
For Cook County Assessor, Joseph Berrios faces stiff competition from Raymond A. Figueroa, a former alderman and a Circuit Court judge who has received the endorsements of the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times. Berrios also is a lobbyist and both newspapers point out that he has conflicts of interest. I agree and support Figueroa for assessor.
There are Latinos running for several different seats in the state legislature. Notable is the race for state representative in the 23rd District where Rudy Lozano is running against Martin Meza-Zavala, Daniel J. Burke and Rene Diaz. Lozano is an educator and activist. His father also was an activist who worked to elect Harold Washington and was killed in Chicago in 1983. Lozano is running in a heavily Hispanic district against Burke, who is loyal to House Speaker Michael Madigan. I support Lozano, who would bring an independent voice to the legislature.
And on a final note there is one Latino candidate that I cannot support ever. That is Republican Rosanna Pulido who is running for the 5th Congressional District. Pulido has been active in the anti-immigrant group the Illinois Minuteman Project and her views are out of touch with the majority of Latino voters.
Tags: @newsfront, Bill Lipinski, Dan Lipinski, Eddy Garcia, election, Illinois, Javier "Xavier" Nogueras, Jesus G. Garcia, Jorge Mujica, Joseph Berrios, Joseph Mario Moreno, Monica Torres-Linares, Nick Valadez, primary, Raymond A. Figueroa, Rosanna Pulido, Rudy Lozano, voters