Latino Challengers Fare Well Across the State


State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-3) and Edwin Vargas scored victories n their primary races.
Generally speaking, it was not a good primary day for incumbents in the legislative primaries feature Latinos across Connecticut on Tuesday with only one of five emerging with a win.
The big victory of the day belonged to state Rep. Andres Ayala, who won a three-way primary for the Democratic nomination in the 23rd Senate District. He is poised to become the first Latino to serve in the State Senate.
3rd House District
Minnie Gonzalez did something no other incumbent did in the primaries featuring Latinos – she won. According to unofficial results, she easily fought back a challenge from promoter Vic Luna by picking up 76 percent of the votes cast. She is unopposed in the general election and will continue in her role as president of the National Council of Hispanic Legislators.
6th House District
Incumbent state Rep. Hector Robles, who was re-elected in 2010 in spite of being fired from the Hartford Police Department for falsifying time cards (alleged behavior that he would later be arrested for), couldn’t hold back a challenge from retired Hartford teacher Edwin Vargas. According to unofficial results, Vargas won the primary with 56 percent of the vote.
75th House District
In the 75th House District, four-term incumbent David Aldarondo was turned out by Victor Cuevas, a recreation center director. Aldarondo’s downfall apparently commenced last fall when he backed the wrong mayoral candidate. Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary worked hard to get Cuevas a victory in the primary. According to unofficial results posted at the Waterbury Republican American,, Cuevas won 590 to 329.
128th House District
In the 128th House District, 29-year Christina Ayala held off a challenge from Angel Reyes, an East Main Street businessman to win her primary contest. She now faces Manny Bataguas, a 69-year-old Portugese-American and Republican nominee.
Ayala told the Connecticut Post, that fighting the scourge of gun violence in her city will be a top priority. “Parents are still very scared about what is happening here,” said Ayala. “My seven-year-old attends school near the shooting on Hallet Street. Justin Thompson ( a 14-year-old shot to death in January) was my cousin.”
Her victory came in the district her cousin Andres Ayala currently represents in the state house. He was successful in a three-way primary contest to become the Democratic nominee in the 23rd Senate District.