Pediatrician Yadira Caraveo, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, seeks to conquer a new, crucial, and “diverse” Latino district in Colorado for the Democrats and also become the first Latina woman in the US Congress from that state.
Caraveo, who won the candidacy on Tuesday with the support of more than 70% of the delegates in the Colorado Democratic Party Assembly, is currently a state legislator, with a platform to help workers, farmers, and undocumented immigrants.
“As the daughter of immigrants, raised on my father’s construction worker salary, I know the value of hard work,” Caraveo said.
“This is the time for our voices, those Colorado worker voices that were ignored for so long, to be heard in Washington,” said the first Latina woman to run for a federal seat in Colorado.
Without the need for primaries, Caraveo, 41, automatically won the Democratic ticket to run for the newly created District 8, a large area north of Denver with significant growth in the Latino vote over the last decade.
For now, the only Latinos who have represented Colorado in Congress are John Salazar, who in 2004 was elected to the federal House of Representatives, and Ken Salazar, his brother, who won a seat in the Senate in the same elections.
“I am grateful for the outpouring of support from my family, friends, and neighbors throughout Congressional District 8. Our grassroots coalition in this district is widespread, diverse, and getting stronger every day,” Caraveo said.
“As a pediatrician serving patients in District 8, I know the system is no longer working for too many families. As a state legislator, I’ve worked hard to help working families across Colorado solve many of those problems. But there’s so much more.” work to be done,” he added.
Congressional District 8 was created in 2021 in response to Colorado’s population growth over the past decade, as reflected in the 2020 Census. It encompasses Adams, Larimer, and Weld counties, and today nearly 40% of area residents identify as Hispanics. By comparison, in Denver Hispanics makeup 33% of the population.
The area is considered key by both Democrats and Republicans to win a majority in the House of Representatives in the November elections.
And its importance could manifest itself in the 2024 presidential election, tipping the balance of the state towards one party or another.
The now-former President Donald Trump, of the Republican Party, won the vote of the residents of the area in the 2016 campaign, while the current Democratic president, Joe Biden, conquered his electorate in 2020.
Since it obtained statehood in 1876, Colorado has voted overwhelmingly for Republican candidates, although in the last four presidential elections it has opted for the Democrats.
According to a report by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), more than 280,000 Latino voters in Colorado are expected to vote in November, an increase of 8.9% compared to the 2018 elections and 29, 4% since the 2014 elections.
Additionally, 10.9% of Colorado voters are expected to be Latino, a similar proportion to Latino voters in the state in both 2018 and 2014.
FROM MEDICINE TO POLITICS
Caraveo completed his medical studies at Regis University (private, in Denver) and then at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In 2008 he began his political career by participating in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign (2009-2017). And in 2018 she was elected as a representative from Colorado’s 31st District.
In the state Legislature, he successfully promoted a law for undocumented immigrants to have access to reproductive health services and another to protect the right of agricultural workers to have adequate security measures in their places of employment.
“Our coalition will ensure that working families have a representative in Washington who will stand up for them, and not someone who stands up for just a few powerful people,” he declared.
Despite the strong Latino presence in District 8, its success is not assured in a historically rural and conservative area, in which four Republicans are already vying for their party’s candidacy. Lori Saine, current Weld County Commissioner and self-described “far-right,” leads that list of candidates with 72% support in early polls.
In this context, Caraveo invited “to grow our coalition between now and the November elections so that, working together, we can create a better future for working families and for our children.