SAN PEDRO (CNS) - Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán, D-San Pedro, has been named chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for the upcoming 118th Congress, the CHC announced.
Barragán, who had been deputy chair of the caucus, succeeds Rep. Raul Ruiz, a Democrat of Riverside County. The vote was announced Thursday.
Barragán easily won reelection last month to the 44th Congressional District seat, snaring more than 72 percent of the vote against Republican Paul Jones.
"I am incredibly honored to be elected by my colleagues to serve as the 25th chair of Congressional Hispanic Caucus," Barragán said in a statement.
"Our largest caucus ever will continue to be a leading voice for Latinos everywhere. As chair, I plan to elevate our members and the priorities they have for their communities. I will continue to build on the foundations of our former chairs and work to create an equitable immigration system, improve access to healthcare in Latino communities, address the climate crisis and increase Latino representation at the highest levels of government, para toda nuestra gente."
The CHC was founded in December 1976 with the mission of voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the U.S. Puerto Rico and U.S. territories.
"The Congressional Hispanic Caucus applauds our members elected to leadership positions," said Ruiz, who will remain in Congress following his easy reelection last month.
"As a strong, strategic, and effective CHC organization, we will remain laser-focused on helping lead Hispanic communities forward. Next Congress, we will have our largest, 42-member caucus in history, and a record nine new CHC members. We look forward to our collective work as we leverage our powerful Hispanic voices to pass legislation and resources that benefit communities across the country."
Meanwhile, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Los Angeles, was reelected as vice chair of member engagement for the caucus.
The rest of the CHC leadership will be:
-- Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-New York, deputy chair;
-- Rep. Darren Soto, D-Florida, vice chair of policy;
-- Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández, D-New Mexico, vice chair of communication;
-- Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, whip;
-- Rep.-Elect Gabe Vasquez, D-New Mexico, vice chair of diversity and inclusion, and,
-- Rep.-Elect Andrea Salinas, D-Oregon, freshman representative.