5. Xochitl Torres Small, New Mexico

Xochitl Torres Small is the Democratic candidate for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House. After advancing in the June primary she be competing for the seat in November. She grew up Las Cruces New Mexico, graduating Cum Laude from Georgetown University in just 3 years. She would return home, complete law school and before her current run served as a water rights attorney.

Yet, if you think Torres-Small is another Democrat straight out of central casting, think again. While her platform addresses issues such as immigration, healthcare and water rights, her most recent advertisement entitled “Hunt” shows she’s cut from a different cloth as she demonstrates she’s 2nd Amendment friendly, by displaying her gun shooting skills. She told CBS News “that hunting is personal to her, helping to forge a stronger connection with her husband. Hunting is a family tradition, too — both her grandfather and father were hunters.”

6. Jose Chuy Garcia, Illinois

Jesús G. “Chuy” García currently serves on the Cook County Board of Commissioners. A lifelong politician if there was one. He was previously a candidate for Mayor of Chicago and made it a close race. Forcing a run-off vote with incumbent Rahm Emanuel. Although defeated, he was elected to the Chicago City Council and in 1992 became the first Mexican-American member of the Illinois State Senate. A progressive and a reformer he endorsed U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election. He’s currently looking to fill the seat in the U.S. House that will be vacated by a retiring Luis Gutiérrez.

7. Veronica Escobar, Texas

The big blue state of Texas is nearly 40% Latino but has never sent a Latina to Congress. Veronica Escobar is about to change that in November. A former Judge from El Paso County, Escobar was victorious in her Democratic primary and is expected to easily win in November. A victory will make her the first Latina to represent Texas. On running for office Escobar told NBC News “I feel very excited. I have never seen so many great people mobilized, volunteering for candidates and serving in campaigns. This is our moment. It’s our turn at the leadership table. And we need to keep pulling up the generations after us. It’s an absolutely pivotal time.”

8. Kevin de León, California

Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from California Kevin de León is no stranger to politics. Having served in California State Senate.

The son of a single immigrant mother who supported her family in the San Diego barrio of Logan Heights working as a housekeeper and other pick-up jobs. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. He attended U.C. Santa Barbara and graduated from Pitzer College at the Claremont Colleges with honors. Senator de León was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate in 2014, making him the first Latino to hold that position in over a century. He now seeks to do in Washington D.C. what he did in California, which includes setting the state on the path to 50% renewable energy by 2030, immigration reform and healthcare for all.

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