An under reported story of the 2010 mid term election has been the rise of the Hispanic Republican.
Yes, I know, that is not the case here in the once Golden State, but in surrounding states as diverse as Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Hispanic Republicans made very large gains and now are governors in two of the above mentioned states.
Starting in the Lone Star state of Texas, Hispanic Republicans are now in the state House of Representatives, a state supreme court justice and two members of congress.
Imagine going from no Hispanic Republicans in the lower house of the state legislature to five. And winning a state supreme court justice seat. And seeing two members of the House of Representatives be elected. It is amazing that in a state like Texas with a large and growing Hispanic population, they are managing to get anywhere from 35% of that vote on up.
From this emerging group can be a future governor or United States senator. It is very important to build from this success and continue to reach out to Hispanics without losing basic Republican ideas.
And going west, New Mexico elected a Hispanic and woman to be their next governor.
Susana Martinez is the governor-elect of New Mexico and the first woman to be elected governor in the Land of Enchantment. Again, another state with a large and growing Hispanic population and she easily beat back the challenge of the current governor, Hispanic Democrat Bill Richardson's hand-picked successor, Diane Denish.
While the gains are historic in Texas, it is even more so in New Mexico because Mrs. Martinez is now the face of the Republican party in New Mexico. She will bring many more Hispanics to the Republican side by her sheer presence.
Now to throw a monkey wrench in this is Arizona.
Arizona, land of Senate Bill 1070. Strongly supported by the current governor, Jan Brewer, she not only supported it but signed it into law. That should have been the kiss of death and she would have lost her election for a full term as governor.
Mrs. Brewer easily won a full term outright defeating Democrat candidate Terry Goddard by a 55% to 42% margin.
Again, Mrs. Brewer could not win this election without some support from Hispanic voters. Remember, polling data only goes so far when one walks into the election booth and votes. It is only as accurate as the person answering it gives their answer.
But, more on the good news front.
In Nevada, while the senate race between Sen. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle took up most of the news, another Reid was going to defeat for governor.
Rory Reid was trying to become the next governor of Nevada. With the old man, Harry, running for the senate, it should have been a shoo-in for Rory, right?
Once again, wrong!
Brian Sandoval defeated Mr. Reid by a handy margin, 53% to 42% for the Son of Harry.
Mr Sandoval in a man of great accomplishment in his own right. Mr. Sandoval served as a federal judge appointed by former President George W. Bush as well as a state legislator and attorney general.
Again, Mr. Sandoval is a new face for politics and a Hispanic Republican. And again, many more Hispanics will at the very least look at the Republican party a second time rather than voting for Democrats the way their families have for generations.
And one more race where Hispanic Republicans made a gain was way up in the Pacific Northwest in a congressional race.
Jamie Herrera won the Washington state 3rd congressional district race over Democrat Denny Heck, 53% to 47%.
To me, it is even more of an accomplishment to win in an area of the United States not known for having a large Hispanic population. And to do so with ease. In a district that was just represented by a Democrat, Brian Baird.
It is heartening to see Hispanics gain their rightful place in the party of Lincoln. It is a chance to finally have a healthy competition between both parties for this increasingly important vote. The Democrats should not take the Hispanic vote for granted.
And this brings me to my state, California, and the disaster that our state party has become in reaching out to non-White groups. There is no game plan. There is no attempt to get Republicans to go to events important to these groups. To be more aggressive in voter education and registration. Again, the California Republican party has to make a serious push to gain a growing middle class Hispanic voter. They just want to be asked to be a part of the Grand Old Party.
If these other states can do it, so can California.
Hispanics are now a real part of the Republican party and there needs to be more in elected office. The Southwest is leading the parade on that front. Can California follow suit?