Latino Candidates Nearly Sweep August Primaries
By Steve Walker
In a surprising and exhilarating result, Latino legislative candidates in Michigan swept to victory on August 2nd and the new state legislature that will be seated in January 2023 is assured to have increased Latino representation.
In a strong showing, State Representative Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Township) captured the newly drawn 6th State Senate seat that runs from Northwest Detroit through Redford Township and Livonia to Farmington and Farmington Hills. Mary is the current Chair of the Legislative Latino Caucus and bested both the Mayor of Farmington Hills and a strong candidate from Detroit.
State Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) won a tight race over a candidate from Detroit and a former state representative from Allen Park in the newly drawn 1st District that runs from Taylor through Southgate, Lincoln Park and Allen Park to Corktown in Detroit.
In an even closer race, Veronica Paiz won for State Representative in an Eastside District that covers from St. Clair Shores through Harper Woods to the Eastside of Detroit. Veronica is currently on the Harper Woods City Council and serves as Secretary of the Democratic Party Hispanic Latino Caucus.
As expected, State Senator Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) won her party’s nomination easily in a District that runs from west of Central Ave. in Southwest Detroit through Dearborn to Dearborn Heights.
All these Latinos represented heavily Democratic Districts and are expected to win easily in the general election in November.
The only Latino candidate who lost in the primary was Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) who was running in the newly drawn 10th Congressional District in Northern Macomb County.
Now, the focus shifts to two candidates who won uncontested primaries on August 2nd but face very stiff challenges in the November general election.
First, there is State Representative Darrin Quiroz Camilleri (D-Trenton) who is running in the newly drawn State Senate seat that runs from Grosse Isle through Wyandotte, Trenton, Gibraltar, Brownstown Township and Huron Township to Romulus. Darrin has been a very popular State Representative but this new seat haws been drawn to be evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. No doubt, this race will draw statewide attention and plenty of outside money.
Secondly, there is State Representative Alex Garza (D-Taylor) who is finishing his second term. Alex will be competing in a totally redrawn house district that covers Taylor and runs south into Monroe County. He has drawn a big-name opponent and this again is an evenly drawn district.
BIO: Steve Walker has been active in Michigan politics since 1962. He is a retired Political Science professor from Wayne County Community College, a member of the state Democratic Hispanic Latino Caucus and a long-time treasurer of the Spanish Speaking Democrats.