Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Successor Announce New PAC to Boost Latino Turnout

Announcement follows reports that Democratic Party was slow to engage Latinos during midterms

Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and House Democrats hold a rally in June on the steps of the Capitol to call for passage of “The Keep Families Together Act,” that would stop the separation of parents and children at the border of the U.S. and Mexico. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outgoing Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez and his successor, Rep.-elect Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, will form a political action committee aimed strengthening Latinos’ political clout.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, the Progressive Caucus Democrats will raise money for candidates with strong positions on issues of immigration, affordable housing and poverty, ideally from Latino donors.

“What we lack in the community, and what we hope to instill, is a culture of giving, to candidates, potentially to ballot initiatives that are important to the Hispanic community,” Garcia told the paper.

The men hope the Latino Leadership Council will motivate voters to show up at the polls.

“We recognize progressive values play an important part in the higher turnout,” Garcia said.

The announcement follows reports that the Democratic Party was slow to engage Hispanic voters during the midterm elections, though the men did not cite those reports as a factor driving the formation of the new committee.

In mid-October the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with Republican House leadership, had run Spanish-language ads in more districts than rivals aligned with Democratic House leadership, House Majority PAC, according to a Washington Post report.

More generally, the new PAC might also increase Latinos’ visibility as an important constituency, by highlighting their economic and social contributions to the United States.

Beyond the announcement, details are unknown. A search of Federal Election Commission records for “Latino Leadership Council” returned no results Monday morning.

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