First Latina Senator

One positive outcome of our recent elections is the successful campaign of our first Hispanic American U.S. Senator. After a close race fueled by record outside spending, Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, won the Nevada Senate contest.  She defeated Representative Joe Heck to fill the seat of Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader.  Inspite of being outspent by outside donors and groups representing $90 million, Masto’s campaign win benefited from Donald Trump’s attack on Mexicans, immigrants, women and others.

Ms. Cortez Masto, 52, a former Nevada attorney general and the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, focused her campaign on immigration overhaul and future Supreme Court picks before the Senate. According to an article in the Associated Press, “She capitalized on the extensive ground operation built by Hillary Clinton and energized Latinos by railing against Mr. Trump’s plan to build a border wall, while trying to pin Mr. Trump’s most controversial views on her opponent.”

The Associated Press report goes on state that Mr. Heck relied on the financial backing of groups outside the state — including money from the conservative activists Charles G. and David H. Koch.“He was doing a good job trying to thread the middle and not alienate the base until the whole Donald Trump thing,” said David Damore, a professor of political science at the University of Nevada. “Then it was like he couldn’t say anything right.”

Tras una campaña reñida, la demócrata Catherine Cortez Masto ganó la competencia en Nevada y se convirtió en la primera senadora latina. Se impuso sobre el representante Joe Heck para llenar la silla del senador Harry Reid, el líder de los demócratas en el senado, quien se retira después de tres décadas de trabajo político.