There are good indications that more Hispanics will be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Both Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, and Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, told HispanicBusiness magazine they believe Hispanics from Texas and New Mexico could be elected.
In both states, the incumbent U.S. senator -- Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison in Texas and Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman in New Mexico -- have announced their retirements. As always, when an open seat is up for grabs, a large number of candidates vie for their party's nomination. The filing deadline in Texas is December and the filing deadline in New Mexico is February. As such, the list of candidates in both states remains fluid and will remain in flux for months.
One thing does appear to be consistent for the moment -- the names of five Hispanics seeking the Senate nomination for their parties. Three of the potential Hispanic candidates are Republicans, two in Texas and one in New Mexico, and two are Democrats, one each in Texas and New Mexico. If all five file in their respective states, it will be some time before it's known whether any will survive after each state's primary election -- Texas' occurs on Super Tuesday, March 6, and New Mexico's happens June 5. As part of its 2012 election coverage, HispanicBusiness magazine offers brief profiles of these Hispanic hopefuls for a U.S. Senate seat.
Texas Republican Candidates
Andrew Castanuela, known as "Cas," calls himself a Reagan Republican. He was born in Brady, Texas, which his website calls the true heart of the Lone Star State, but lives in Early/Brownwood, according to his website profile.
Mr. Castanuela is retired from the Air Force and currently is the program director for the Central Texas MHMR (mental health and mental retardation) Substance Abuse Youth Services. He earned a bachelor's degree in social psychology from Park University, located in Parkville, Mo., but with campuses in Austin, Texas, and in El Paso, Texas, affiliated with the Fort Bliss military base.
He is affiliated with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Texas Association of Addiction Professionals, Texas Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Texas State Rifle Association, and the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce.
He also is a member of the National Association for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors.
According to his website, Mr. Castanuela "joined the race only because, like most of us, he is tired of too much government and no common sense in fiscal spending or the protection of American morals and character."
Ted Cruz serves as a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Houston. From 2003-08, Mr. Cruz served as the solicitor general of Texas. His website said he was the youngest solicitor general in the nation, the longest-serving solicitor general in Texas and the first Hispanic solicitor general in the state. He was 33 when he was appointed to the solicitor general position in 2003.
In his current position, Mr. Cruz leads the firm's U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice.
Mr. Cruz traces his resolve to his father and mother.
"When my Dad came to Austin in 1957, as a teenage immigrant from Cuba bound for the University of Texas, he spoke no English and had $100 sewn into his underwear," Mr. Cruz's website states. "He worked his way through school as a dishwasher making 50 cents an hour, just as my Mom -- the first person in her family ever to go to college -- earned her math degree at Rice in the 1950s, working summers at Foley's and Shell."
Most Popular Stories
- Apple Wants Samsung to Pay $22M for Patent Dispute Legal Bills
- Twitter Coming to Phones Without Internet
- NASA Fellowships, Scholarships Bring Diversity to Workforce
- Dish Network Leads 2013 Top 50 Advertisers List
- Networks Vie for U.S. Hispanic TV Viewers
- Ad Counts Rise in 2013 for Hispanic Magazines
- Jobs Report Brings Cheer As Unemployment Drops to Five-year Low
- Starbucks Gets Grinchy; No Gingerbread Lattes for Tampa Customers
- Entravision Initiates Quarterly Cash Dividend
- Warner Bros. Unleashes 'Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug' Merchandise