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Washington, DC – Latino Victory Fund is proud to announce the first round of endorsements for the 2016 cycle. These four Congressional candidates have a proven record of supporting issues that are important to Latinos.

Below is a statement from Cristóbal J. Alex, President of Latino Victory Fund:

“We are proud to endorse Nanette Barragán, Darren Soto, Pete Gallego, Salud Carbajal for Congress. All four of these candidates are proven Latino leaders who have been champions for our community and the issues we care about. They put together strong campaigns and are in excellent standing going into 2016. We look forward to helping get them elected and grow the number of Latinos in Congress who will fight for our community.

“This is the first round of endorsements. In the coming months we will be evaluating candidates based on a specific set of criteria and announcing other strong Latinos who we will support.”

See below for a quote and short bio for each Congressional race:

Nanette Barragán – CA-44 said, “My parents came to this country from Mexico to make a better life for themselves and their children. Today I have had the privilege of, among other things, working my way through college and law school, successfully taking on special interests to protect our environment, and serving as the first Latina ever elected in Hermosa Beach. Now, running for Congress to represent the 44th District, I look forward to continuing to make my parents proud and serve our community. Latino Victory Fund does so much to ensure that
Latinos are part of our political process, I am proud to receive their endorsement and I look forward to working with them to ensure that everyone in our community has a voice at the table and the opportunity to achieve the American dream.”

Former Hermosa Beach Mayor Nanette Barragán is running to fill the open seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn in a majority Latino district in Southern California.

The daughter of immigrants from Mexico, Nanette grew up near Carson, CA, the youngest of 11 kids. Driven by a commitment to helping hardworking families in communities like hers, Nanette has dedicated her career to public service — from serving in the White House for President Clinton working on African American outreach to working for the NAACP to help address racial inequalities in health care. Nanette remembers watching her mother study for her U.S. citizenship exam and has said her parents taught her to treasure and protect her right to vote and never take it for granted. In 2012, as part of the Obama Voter Protection team, Nanette recruited attorneys from across the country to travel to Florida to ensure that every eligible voter had the opportunity to vote.

Now Nanette is running for Congress to make sure other kids growing up in families like hers have access to the American Dream – the opportunity to find a good-paying job, access to great schools, and safe, healthy communities where you can raise a family.

Darren Soto – FL-9 said, “I am ecstatic to get the prestigious endorsement of Latino Victory Fund. Together we will continue to fight to improve the lives of our Latino community in education, healthcare, immigration and voting rights, among so many other key issues!”

State Sen. Soto is a champion of the Latino community in Florida, and he is a front-runner for the open seat left by U.S. Rep. Grayson. In his first term in the Florida Senate, Soto passed legislation to expedite the waiting time for immigrant youth with deferred action to acquire a driver’s license, and in 2014 he passed legislation to admit immigrant lawyers into the Florida Bar. Soto has been a strong advocate for immigrants and Latinos in the state of Florida, and a strong advocate for the passage of in-state tuition for DREAMers.

Pete Gallego – TX – 23 said, “Latinos are the fastest growing group in Texas. We’re thrilled to have the Latino Victory Fund beside us to engage and motivate Texas Latinos. Democracy works better when all of us participate.”

Pete Gallego is running in the most competitive race in Texas and TX-23 is often referred to by local media as a microcosm of what Texas will look like in the near future. Pete was born and raised in Alpine and was the first Latino elected to the
Texas Legislature out of West Texas. Both as a State Representative and a Member of Congress, Pete always focused on putting people before politics. Known in Texas as one of the state’s most effective leaders, Texas Monthly Magazine called Pete, “the most versatile member of the House, a jack-of-all-trades and master of all.”

Salud Carbajal – CA- 24 said, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Latino Victory Project,” stated Salud Carbajal. “Together, we will fight to ensure every family has the opportunity to succeed with access to good jobs, a quality education, and a safe environment.”

Salud served eight years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, including active duty service during the 1991 Gulf War, while also working in various roles with several Santa Barbara based non-profit organizations and local government.

In 2004, Salud was elected to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. In his tenure, he has demonstrated a commitment to protecting our environment, promoting sustainability, strengthening our schools, and enhancing the health and safety of our community.

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Latino Victory Fund is a federally registered political committee that supports Latino candidates across the country and engages Latino voters and donors to support Latino leaders in order to elevate and advance American values. Paid for by Latino Victory Fund, 700 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20005. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.