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Latino Leaders: A new political force in Minnesota


There is a common joke in Minnesota that says that years ago a person was considered ethnically diverse in this state if they were Norwegian instead of Swedish. Not so long ago, it was rare in Minnesota to see Latinos in positions of political power. Not too many years ago it was rare to even see a Latino in Minnesota. But in the
past few years we have seen true progress in Latino political power in Minnesota. Recently, this progress was symbolized in the nomination two weeks ago of State Senator Patricia Torres Ray as the running mate of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful State Senator John Marty.

John Marty faces a difficult nomination by the Democratic Party in a race in which eight candidates will compete April 23 at the State Democratic Convention, and then a primary in August.If John Marty were elected Governor, Patricia Torres Ray would become the second-highest ranking politician in Minnesota. And if for some reason the Governor resigns the position, as happened recently in New York, Patricia Torres Ray, 46, would become the first Latina Governor (and first from a community of color) in Minnesota history.

Patricia also becomes the first person from a minority community in the history of the state of Minnesota to be selected as candidate for Lieutenant Governor. For Torres Ray, making history is nothing new. She was the first Latina to serve in the Minnesota Senate. Patricia represents a district in which Latinos are a minority, in contrast to states such as Texas, California, or New York, or cities like Chicago in which most Latino politicians represent districts in which Latinos are the majority. READ FULL STORY

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