Alex Padilla made history with his U.S. Senate win. What it means for Latinos in 2018
Carlos López and Alejandro del Real, two of the four Latinos on the Federal Election Commission, are seated at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.
On Friday, Carlos López, a former San Antonio councilman, mayor and onetime congressman, officially became the first Latino to win a statewide office in the United States.
His margin is small, but a victory is not a victory without symbolism. The historic victory, in part, reflects the growth of minority political power in the United States, as well as the political mood of the country.
It is a moment that is the result of a long and arduous campaign that ran more than two years and won the support of nearly 80 percent of Texas voters in the Democratic Party primaries against his Republican opponent, David Dewhurst. It is also a moment of political redemption for this candidate.
Mr. López won with 56 percent of the vote, a percentage higher than the 51 percent he won in the Democratic Party’s primary. As a Latino, Mr. López was able to garner support from many in the Latino community who did not vote in the Democratic primary and who were concerned that Mr. Dewhurst, a former chief of staff to then-Gov. Rick Perry, would not serve their interests if elected.
Mr. Dewhurst’s loss, for many in Texas, is a victory for the state’s diverse population and a sign that Mr. López’s win is a sign of greater change.
Mr. López, along with his running mate, Alejandro del Real — who also served in the state legislature — and Ms. del Real, will be sworn in next week. They will assume the duties of the 50th member of the United States Senate, which is currently held by Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican former senator from Texas.