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Hispanic Democrats kick off voter mobilization campaign

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) campaign arm is launching its voter mobilization efforts ahead of November’s election through alliances with grassroots groups in Arizona, Florida and Texas.

By Rafael Bernal, The Hill

Bold PAC is announcing the effort Thursday, focusing on the three states with key congressional races.

“Latino voters will be integral to the 2024 elections, deciding whether Democrats are able to defend the White House, Senate, and take back the House,” Bold PAC Chair Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) said. “There is so much at stake for our community, and the future of America, highlighting the importance of ensuring that Latinos are mobilized and energized to vote for Democrats in November.”

The political action committee’s core mission is to expand the CHC’s membership, but its unique focus on Hispanic voters gives the group unique access to that electorate, where other official party committees sometimes struggle.

The group’s turnout efforts could have an effect up-ballot, in a presidential race that could come down to extremely thin margins in Latino-heavy battlegrounds like Arizona.

The three states covered in the launch have Senate races of interest to Bold PAC — in two cases with the potential to grow the CHC’s footprint in the upper chamber.

“The way the Senate works is that good opportunities don’t present themselves very often. And so Bold PAC has, over the course of many cycles, continued to prioritize bringing new Latinos to the Senate, or defending the ones we have,” said Victoria McGroary, executive director of Bold PAC.

“A great example is Senator [Catherine] Cortez Masto [D-Nev.],” she added. “Last cycle we made very big investments in Nevada on her behalf, because it was so critically important to defend the first and only Latina in the Senate.”

In Arizona, Bold PAC is joining forces with Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), where Chair Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is looking to fill retiring independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat in a head-to-head against former GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.

That race is the CHC’s best shot at keeping or growing its four Senate seats.

Sens. Cortez Masto, Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) are not up for reelection, and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is not running for the Democratic nomination for his seat, following a cascade of corruption allegations and related indictments.

Menéndez has said he will consider running as a Democratic independent if he can shake off the federal indictments by the summer.

Bold PAC is also looking at raising Latino turnout in Florida, where former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) is looking to unseat Republican Sen. Rick Scott, who even as a heavy favorite is, along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the closest thing the GOP has to a vulnerable Senate incumbent.

“We are so excited to have, again, not one but two incredibly, incredibly unique and strong opportunities to get Senate seats, and that that has been over the course of several cycles an increased focus of Bold PAC because we just don’t we don’t get those opportunities very often,” McGroary said.

Florida, where Bold PAC is working with Florida Freedom PAC, is also host to key House races for the CHC, including the reelection bid of Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.).

Turnout is likely to be a key factor in Soto’s effort, whose constituency includes a large part of central Florida’s Puerto Rican population, a key demographic that Democrats need to win over if they want to make a comeback in the Sunshine State.

Though national Democrats have become wary of investing in Florida because Republicans have turned the perennial swing state reliably red, Latino organizations like Bold PAC have kept investments in the state.

“Bold PAC invested heavily in Florida last cycle. That was not true for a lot of organizations. But it was true of Bold PAC, you know, and we brought another member to the CHC because of it, the first Gen-Z member of Congress,” said McGroary, referring to Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.).

Bold PAC’s kickoff, an initial six-figure effort that’s scheduled to precede other investments throughout the country, will also feature an alliance with Somos PAC Texas, the local branch of a Super PAC that featured heavily in Cortez Masto’s reelection effort in 2022.

In Texas, Bold PAC will focus on a series of House races that could determine that chamber’s composition, and whose competitive nature could alter statewide calculations, for instance by driving Latino voter turnout in November in the Rio Grande Valley.

Turnout in that region is often heavier in May, with voters more involved in local elections like school boards but voting patterns could be shifting with newly-competitive House races — and strategic mobilization investments.

“What we know at Bold PAC is investments really matter, and the timing of investments really matters,” McGroary said. “And all the money in the world invested improperly without good authentic strategy and at the wrong time, really doesn’t matter.”

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