The Latino Victory Fund will back Jesús “Chuy” Garcia in the Chicago mayoral election, the group announced Monday.
In a press statement outlining its slate of endorsed candidates for 2015, the political action committee, dedicated to helping propel Hispanics into elected offices, said it would also back Nelson Diaz for mayor of Philadelphia and M. Lorena González in her bid for a Seattle City Council seat.
Garcia has attracted national attention for leading a grassroots campaign that threatens to unseat Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a prominent establishment Democrat and former chief of staff for President Barack Obama.
“Chuy made history when he became the first Mexican-American member of the Illinois State Senate, and has shown how one Latino voice dedicated to making a difference can help to create change and empowerment across the board,” Latino Victory Project’s President Cristóbal Alex said in a press statement. “We enthusiastically stand with Chuy in his campaign to be Chicago’s next Mayor.”
Though the Garcia campaign's progressive coalition building has turned heads, he trails far behind the well connected Emanuel when it comes to fundraising. Emanuel has raised about $18 million for his reelection campaign -- about 10 times as much as the Garcia campaign, according to The Chicago Tribune.
The other two candidates backed by the Latino Victory Fund would be making history if elected.
Philadelphia would get its first Latino mayor if the 67-year-old Diaz, a progressive Democrat and former common pleas court judge, wins his race.
González, 37, is a lawyer by profession who works as legal counsel to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and has served on the board of the immigrant and human rights group One America. She would become Seattle’s first Hispanic city counselor.
Alex said the Latino Victory Fund was especially excited to support her because they played a role in urging her to run for public office.
“As the child in a Spanish-speaking home, who worked as a migrant farmworker alongside her parents and siblings, she fully understands the challenges facing the Latino community and has spent her life advocating for immigrant rights, economic justice and the end to gender discrimination,” the statement says.
Prominent activists Eva Longoria and Henry Muñoz III founded Latino Victory last year in an effort to boost the number of voices of Hispanics in elected office. The nonpartisan group offers support to Hispanic candidates running for local, state and federal offices and is working to build a permanent base of donors to support Hispanic candidates.