Progressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign

Progressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign
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A leading Latino political organization is launching its first-ever incumbent protection campaign, designed to prop up five Hispanic representatives who flipped formerly Republican districts.

The Latino Victory Fund (LVF), which played an important role in fundraising and promoting the members in 2018, launched Wednesday the "Our Champions" campaign to protect the seats held by Democratic Reps. Gil CisnerosGilbert (Gil) Ray CisnerosMORE (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), Debbie Mucarsel-PowellDebbie Mucarsel-PowellHispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs Lawmaker-linked businesses received PPP loans Democrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers MORE (Fla.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) and Antonio DelgadoAntonio Ramon DelgadoHispanic Democrats build capital with big primary wins The Hill's Campaign Report: Buzz builds around Warren for VP Gun control group rolls out House endorsements MORE (N.Y.).

Mayra Macías, executive director of the Latino Victory Fund, called the five lawmakers "our community’s voice in Washington." 

"Now more than ever, we need their diverse backgrounds and perspectives in the halls of Congress. That is why Latino Victory Fund is fully committed to making sure we do everything in our power to help re-elect them and to protect and expand the Democratic majority in 2020," she added.

All five representatives won tough elections in 2018, taking over districts previously held by Republicans.

Cisneros and Levin won traditionally Republican Southern California seats after two top-tier GOP retirements; Mucarsel-Powell unseated former Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Memo: GOP cringes at new Trump race controversy Trump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy Republicans can't exploit the left's climate extremism without a better idea MORE (R-Fla.); Torres Small won a tight race; and Delgado won an upstate New York district.

A majority of Hispanic members represent heavily-Democratic districts, and the group's growth has in large part followed demographic trends around major urban areas.

But Hispanic representation has grown throughout the country, albeit modestly, including in districts with smaller Hispanic populations.

Delgado, the only member on the LVF list who's not a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), represents a Republican-leaning district that's 82 percent white and only 8 percent Hispanic.

Macías said the campaign is designed to become "a cyclical incumbent protection program and part of Latino Victory’s overall strategy to ensure we keep growing Latino political power at all levels of government.”