DES MOINES, Iowa — Yes, Democratic presidential candidates are paying more attention during this 2020 campaign cycle to the growing Latinx community in Iowa compared to the 2016 cycle. But, no, not all are doing that equally, according to League of United Latin American Council 307 President Joe Enriquez Henry.
“The candidates seem to be paying more attention but not all the candidates are paying attention,” Henry said.
He singled out two campaigns–Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro–for paying the most attention to LULAC members. He said California Senator Kamala Harris’ campaign has reached out the Iowa Asian and Latino Coalition, which endorsed her in the Democratic presidential field.
Note: Henry personally has endorsed Castro for president. LULAC, as a statewide organization, has not endorsed a candidate for president.
Henry hopes that campaigns will increase outreach to Latin community members in the state. “There needs to be even more because we plan to be one out of every four caucus goers next time around,” he explained of his organization’s 2020 efforts, “In 2016, we were one out of every eight.”
LULAC efforts have resulted in 53,000 Latin community members registered to vote in the state, doubling the total from 15 years ago, Henry said. But he said that he believes there are 75,000 eligible members of the community, meaning he sees more progress that his group needs to make before the February 3, 2020 caucuses.
LULAC hosts a town hall event with four presidential candidates Thursday night in Des Moines. Henry expects 500-1,000 people in the audience, who are able to question the candidates. Click here to register.