Candidates & CampaignsPolitics

Democratic political campaigns lack enough minorities, Latino and black lawmakers say

Democrats bill themselves as the party that best represents minorities.

But some minority lawmakers say that Democrats are failing to make Latinos and blacks a real part of election campaigns. The woeful lack of minority contractors, such as consultants and pollsters, involved the mid-term election campaigns last year, for instance, they say, likely contributed to many minority voters staying home.

“I think the lack of diversity in the contracting is quite clear. They can do better,” Politico quoted Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, a senior Congressional Black Caucus member, as saying. “Minorities, both black and brown, are the most loyal people to the party, and I think a recognition of that loyalty can come through the contracting.”

Republicans scored enough wins to give them majorities in both the Senate and the House, and now Democrats are aiming to step up the involvement of Latinos and blacks in campaigns.

Some lawmakers and political consultants see a bright spot – DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján, a New Mexico Democrat who is heading the House political campaign committee.

Luján has complained about the lack of Latinos involved in campaign dynamics in the past, and in his new role has identified increasing minority contractors for the 2016 election cycle as a main goal.

“Just beginning the second month of my first quarter here and I’m proud of the diverse staff we’re building this cycle,” Luján said in an emailed statement. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with my Democratic colleagues and our allies to put the majority in play in 2016 and do it with a team that truly represents the electorate.”

A recent report by PowerPac+, a Democratic group, reported that less than 2 percent of the $514 million that the Democratic Party spent during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles went to firms owned by minorities, according to Politico.

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