State Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven) has been tapped to the new leader of the Black and Latino Caucus, a group of 20 members of the state House of Representatives and four members of the state Senate. Latinos now have three of the leadership positions.
Candelaria is in his sixth term as a state representative from New Haven and is one of the House deputy majority leaders. He sits on the Appropriations, Children, Higher Education & Employment Advancement committees, and the Joint Committee on Legislative Management.
Rep. Bruce Morris (D-Norwalk) will serve as vice chair. Rep. Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford/Manchester) was reelected treasurer and state Rep, Christina Ayala (D-Bridgeport), in her first term in the House, was elected secretary.
Candelaria stated, “It is a great honor to have been elected chair of the Black and Latino Caucus. The minority growth, attention and momentum we are witnessing across the state and nationwide is contagious and extremely important to us. We will use it to advance our priorities and strengthen our position as one unified and strong voice. I look forward to working with all my colleagues to help our communities move forward.”
“I’m honored that my colleagues have re-elected me, and I’m looking forward to continuing my service as treasurer and managing the finances of the caucus,” said Rep. Rojas in a press release.
“I am honored to be considered for this position as I begin the job of representing my constituents in Bridgeport,” Rep. Ayala added. “I am looking forward to working with Caucus members in the capacity of Secretary to address issues important to our communities. I believe that this caucus is instrumental in addressing issues in urban cities like Bridgeport and am confident that we will all work diligently with one voice to move our agenda forward.”
A number of members of the Black and Latino Caucus serve in leadership positions in the House and Senate.
Latino House members in leadership positions are:
- Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven) Deputy Majority Leader
- Minnie Gonzalez (D-Hartford) Majority Whip at Large
- Ezequiel Santiago (D-Bridgeport) Vice Chair, Labor and Public Employees Committee and Deputy Majority Whip
- Robert Sanchez (D-New Britain) Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee Vice Chair and Assistant Majority Leader
- Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford) Chair, Planning and Development Committee
Senate Latino members in leadership positions are:
- Andres Ayala, Jr. (D-Bridgeport/Stratford) Assistant Majority Leader, chair: Committee on Aging and Regulations Review committee. Vice-Chair: Public Safety & Security.