Hispanic Federation Efforts May Have Increased Latino Turnout


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Bill Sarno

Posted 7:46 11/4/14
As the clock winds down on Election Day 2014, a judge’s decision to allow 30 minutes of overtime forbtwo polling places in Hartford that were among those in the capital city that were unprepared for voting in the morning could give Connecticut’s Hispanic turnout a slight boost.
One of these polling places is Bachelder School which lies in the 6th House District where the majority of the population is Hispanic.
The other site, United Methodist Church, is in the 1st House District where the Latino population is only 10 percent.
A large Latino vote in the state’s major cities could help decide a tight governor’s race and enable Hispanics to retain or expand their  ranks in the state Legislature.
Reports coming in from several cities with large Latino electorates  indicate that the effort by the Hispanic Federation and others to get out the vote may have gained some traction.
In the 83rd District, which consists of parts of Meriden and Berlin, Pablo Soto, a Republican House candidate, said, “The voters are turning out in droves, at 2 precincts there where already 600 plus voters at 10 am, at another there were 900 plus close to noon time.”
The 83rd District is more than 10 percent Hispanic.
In New Britain, a city with a large Hispanic population and two Latinos running in the 25th District, a newspaper reporter said turnout was “decent” by early evening.
Turnout in New Haven was running ahead of 2010, Connecticut Mirror, a statewide news bureau, reported at mid afternoon. There also was a report of a similar trend in Bridgeport.
A representative for Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) said early in the evening that the turnout in the district’s cities — Danbury, Meriden, Waterbury and New Britain — was “good” and needed.
The day started out with problems in Hartford where lack of printed voting lists delayed and frustrated some voters, including Gov. Dannel Malloy who needs a strong urban vote to defeat Republican Tom Foley.
The importance of the Latino vote , which is concentrated in the cities, is underscored in the 5th Congressional District where it was crucial two years ago in electing  Esty. Today, Esty’s schedule is dominated by visits to polling places in Danbury, Meriden, New Britain and Waterbury, cities with large Hispanic populations.
Several Hispanic House candidates knew going into Tuesday’s vote that their issue was not re-election. These Democrats were either unopposed or faced token opposition. However, some of their political stature would hinge on getting the vote out for other party candidates, most notably Gov. Malloy.
The uncontested incumbents included Angel Arce (D-4) of Hartford and Juan Candelaria (D-95) of New Haven and Sen. Andres Ayala (D-23)  who represents Bridgeport and part of Stratford.
Here are 17 legislative contests of special interest to the Latino community:
District 23 Bridgeport and Stratford 
Democratic incumbent Andres Ayala is unopposed.
District 27 East Stamford and part of Darien
Two-term incumbent Democrat Carlo Leone is challenged by  Republican Eva A. Maldonado.
District 33 Lower Connecticut Valley
Incumbent Republican Art Linares of Westbrook is up against  Emily Bjornberg of Lyme and Green Party candidate Colin Bennett,
3rd District Hartford
Incumbent Democrat Minnie Gonzalez seeks to retain the seat she has held since 1997, defeating  Republican Sweets Wilson and petitioning candidate Victor M. Luna Jr.
4th District Hartford 
Democratic incumbent Angel Arce is unopposed
6th District Hartford
Incumbent Democrat Edwin Vargas is running against Republican Michael Lupo.
8th District Columbia, Coventry, Tolland and Vernon
Democrat Anthony Ortiz of Columbia, the son of a farmer from Puerto Rico is challenging  two-term Republican incumbent Tim Ackert of Coventry.
9th District Manchester and East Hartford
Democratic Incumbent Jason Rojas takes on  Richard Lion, Libertarian, to keep the seat he has held since 2009
25th District New Britain
Incumbent Democrat Robert “Bobby” Sanchez is running against  Republican Edward Colon, petitioning candidate Alfred P. Mayo and Green Party candidate Paul Gobell.
72nd District  Waterbury
Four-time Democratic incumbent Larry Butler vs. Republican Ruben Rodriquez. Luis Fontuña, the former governor of Puerto Rico, campaigned for Rodriquez three days before the election in the largely Hispanic district.
75th District  Waterbury
Democrat Victor Cuevas is seeking  a second term in a district that is 45 percent Hispanic, against independent John F. Alseph who he soundly defeated two years ago.
83rd District Meriden and Berlin
Incumbent Democrat Catherine Abercrombie faces Pablo Soto, a Republican who also ran against her two years ago. Soto is a member of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission and the Republican State Central Committee
84th District Meriden
Democratic incumbent Hilda Santiago is challenged by Green Party candidate Matthew Went. The District is 41 percent Hispanic.
95th District New Haven
Juan Candelaria (D-95) is unopposed for the seat he has held since 2003.
100th District Middletown
Democratic incumbent Matt Lesser, who is of Argentine descent, faces Republican Angel Fernandez
128th District Bridgeport
Democrat Christopher Rosario takes on  Republican Ethan Book and Angel Reyes of the Peace and Progress Party. Rosario knocked off incumbent Christina Ayala in the Democratic primary.
130th District Bridgeport 
Three-term incumbent Democrat Ezequiel Santiago faces Republican David Goodman and Joel Gonzalez of the Peace and Progress Party.