WASHINGTON, D.C.—Latino Victory Fund announced new endorsements in federal and state races in California, Colorado and Nebraska. The candidates are Rep. Crisanta Duran, candidate for the Colorado State House of Representatives District 05; Emilio J. Huerta, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, California District 02; and Tony Vargas, candidate for Nebraska State House of Representatives, District 07.

Please read statements below from César J. Blanco, Latino Victory interim director, and from our endorsed candidates.

Cesar J. Blanco, Latino Victory interim director: “Latino Victory is working diligently to ensure that we increase representation for our community at all levels of government. Crisanta, Emilio and Tony are three talented, outstanding Latino leaders who have spent their careers working diligently for our community. They support the issues that benefit the Latino community, and we are prepared to work just as hard to ensure that they win in November.”

Rep. Crisanta Duran: “I’m thrilled that the Latino Victory Fund has endorsed my campaign because our goals align: to improve the quality of life for Colorado families. I have been proud to represent House District Five in Denver for the last six years and am excited at the opportunity to continue working to move Colorado forward.”

Emilio J. Huerta: “I am honored to have received the endorsement of the Latino Victory Fund for my campaign to become the first Latino to represent the Central Valley in Congress. Our campaign and Latino Victory share the goals of empowering the Latino community politically, creating economic opportunities for Latinos, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and improving healthcare and educational access for Central Valley families.”

Tony Vargas: “Latinos are nearly half of my district and 10% of the population in the state overall, yet there is not one Latino serving in the Nebraska Legislature — it’s time for that to change. The nationwide network of support that comes with the Latino Victory Fund’s endorsement will help me, a first-generation Peruvian-American, continue to serve everyone in my community and stand up for hardworking families from all walks of life.”

Candidate Biographies:  

Rep. Crisanta Duran, Candidate for Colorado State House of Representatives, District 05

Crisanta Duran, the Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives, is in her third term representing House District 05 in central Denver. She is a sixth-generation Coloradan with a law degree from the University of Colorado and bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver.

During the 2015 session, her first as Majority Leader, she led a strong bipartisan support for Colorado Ready to Work, an eight-bill package she coordinated to boost business and connect more Coloradans to careers. Before being elected to the caucus leadership, she was chairwoman of the legislature’s powerful Joint Budget Committee (JBC).

Rep. Duran’s signal achievement during the 2013 session was the enactment of a law making the in-state tuition rate at state colleges and universities in Colorado available to all students, regardless of immigration status, who graduate from high school in Colorado after attending for at least three years. Rep. Duran serves on the board of the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials and the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs.

Emilio J. Huerta, Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, California District 21

Emilio J. Huerta is a lifelong resident of the Central Valley and currently lives in Bakersfield, California. Emilio witnessed firsthand the organizing leadership of his mother, Dolores Huerta, and Cesar Chavez, and has committed his life to the service to others. As a Civil rights attorney, he has dedicated his more than 20+ career to improving the lives of working men and women.

Before attending college, Huerta served as a labor negotiator, representing farmworkers throughout California who won their right to organize and collectively bargain under the Agricultural Labor Relations Act. He served as a Court Appointed Child Advocate (CASA), general counsel of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, and is a national representative for the United Farm Workers union.

Throughout his career, he has helped establish primary health care clinics in low-income areas in California and develop more than $400 million in affordable housing across the United States. Huerta earned his undergraduate degree from California State University Bakersfield and a Juris Doctorate degree from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Tony Vargas, Candidate for Nebraska State House of Representatives, District 07

Tony Vargas is the son of Peruvian immigrants who worked in manufacturing. He began his career as a public school teacher. Since then, he has worked in the non-profit and education sectors, striving to improve the quality of education of thousands of children across the United States.

Currently a member of the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education representing the communities of downtown and South Omaha, Tony serves more than 52,000 students and 86 schools across the city. In this role, he has been a tireless advocate for closing the achievement gap, addressing systemic inequities, and for increasing parent and community engagement. A first generation college student, Vargas earned his Bachelors of Arts degree at the University of Rochester and a Master’s in Education at Pace University. If elected, Tony will be the only Latino in the Nebraska Legislature.