Latinos and Latinas for Barbara Buono

At a restaurant in Newark’s Ironboud the Latino Action Network bestowed a fullsome endorsement upon Senator Barbara Buono for governor. It was an appropriate city as Newark’s population is 30% Hispanic and an appropriately named restaurant, Sabor Latino (Latin Flavor), bringing out the Latina in the candidate whose brother-in-law was Hispanic.

In making the endorsement, LAN Chair Frank Argote-Freyre noted Sen. Buono’s support of in-state higher education tuition for children of immigrants brought illegally into the country, her oppostion to school vouchers, and her opposition to severe cuts in social services championed by the governor. He went on to add, “The governor has never met a rich man he can’t support.”

During her brief speech she stuck to the main themes of her campaign: support for the working and middle class, an increase in the minimum wage, reversing the governor’s cut in EITC, reduction in gun violence, and increased funding for education. Such general issues are of concern to Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike.

When she was asked to address issues more specific to the Hispanic community, such as restoring legal aid funding, more oversight of the ICE detention centers in New Jersey, and Community I.D. cards for immigrants, she demurred. She said, “It would take hours to  discuss such matters.”  

Sen. Buono can count on support from Hispanics but she does not have a lock on this segment of the population. The Latino Leadership Alliance in February endorsed the Governor saying, “His accomplishments on education reform and small business growth made him worthy of a second term.” A strong ground game run by Hispanic Democrats is essential to assure turnout, and further  articulation of her Hispanic/immigration platform might be helpful. For more information on the press conference go here or here.

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