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Rhode Island’s New Latina Secretary Of State

Nellie Gorbea, the first Latina to hold a state-wide office in New England

Nellie Gorbea, the first Latina to hold a state-wide office in New England

Bill Sarno

Puerto Rico-born Nellie Gorbea’s first run for political office in Rhode Island was not only a personal triumph but it also was historic for Hispanics in New England. Running as a Democrat, she won the secretary of state contest November 4 by a wide margin and became the first Hispanic ever elected to a statewide position in New England.

Although her race was overshadowed by the contest for governor, Gorbea, a 47-year-old mother of three girls, received the most votes of anyone on the ballot, being endorsed by 60 percent of the voters and racking up a 62,000 vote margin over Republican John Carlevale.

In addition, Gorbea’s campaign drew national attention and support from Latino and female advocacy groups like EMILY’s List. Her victory established her as a rising star for a party that …

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Issues Arise Regarding Senator Ayala’s Residence


Bridgeport three Family home where State Sen. Andres Ayala says he lives. Photo: Ned Gerard/CT Post

744 Hancock Ave., in Bridgeport, Conn. where State Sen. Andres Ayala lives. Photo: Ned Gerard/CT Post

They say a man’s home is his castle.

andres ayala

State Senator Andres Ayala (D) Bridgeport

State Sen. Andres Ayala’s “home” is more like an outpost to meet residency laws so he can represent the 23rd District while maintaining a long-term relationship just outside of Ayala’s legislative turf.

“If you want to stake out and watch me come in and come out, feel free to do so,” Ayala, 45, told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers.

Despite earning roughly six figures as an educator and legislator, Ayala said for months he has lived with a roommate in a nondescript third-floor apartment on Hancock Avenue rather than, as critics suspect, girlfriend Carmen Colon‘s Cleveland Avenue home.

Hancock Avenue is Ayala’s eighth address since mid-2000, according to the city’s Registrars of Voters.

Colon’s abode is located just over …

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What Hispanic Leaders Are Saying About Ferguson


Photo: Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bill Sarno


Those objecting to Monday’s ruling by the St. Louis County, Mo. grand jury included Jose Calderon, president of Hispanic Federation, a regional network of Latino nonprofit organizations that has built a strong presence in Connecticut.

“We’re outraged by the decision and stand in solidarity with our African-American brothers and sisters in decrying the injustice of what has transpired in Ferguson, and sadly continues to occur all too frequently in communities of color throughout  America,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Some called for working together in the future.  Carmelo Rodriguez Jr., a Hispanic political leader in New Britain said,  “It is important that communities continue to work together.”

Rodriquez said his “heart goes out” to both the Brown and Wilson families.  As a longtime correctional officer and former police commissioner,  Rodriquez said he understood the “struggle  and danger law enforcers  endure daily.”…

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