Mar 31, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Latina political consultants join forces

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Courtesy of the Latina Consultants Group.

Left-leaning Latina political consultants tired of being underrepresented in their field have formed a coalition to leverage their influence.

Why it matters: Latinos are one of the nation's fastest-growing voting blocs, with around 30.6 million eligible voters in 2020. But congressional campaigns historically have looked to few Hispanic political consultants — and even fewer Latinas — as both parties scramble to reach these voters.

Details: Seven women, including Vanessa Millan of ConCultura and Alicia Sisneros of Sisneros Strategies, have formed the Latina Consultants Group. The group aims to help other progressive Latina political consultants navigate the world of campaigns.

  • They told Axios the group will be based in Washington, D.C., Arizona and California and offer a variety of services including strategy and general consulting, communications, graphic design, video production, media buys and full-service direct mail.

Between the lines: The move comes as the Democratic Party fears a drift of suburban and border-state Latino voters toward the Republican Party.

  • Data, surveys and recent primary elections show that Republicans are making inroads with Latino — a traditionally reliable group of Democratic voters.
  • Several Texas Republican Latinas who won recent primaries hope to be the first GOP Hispanic women elected to Congress from the state, NBC Latino reports.
  • And there are a growing number of Latina political consultants and operatives on the GOP side.

The big picture: Data showed more than half of eligible Latino voters — and a record 88% of registered Latino voters — cast ballots in 2020.

What they're saying: Latina political consultants represent a fraction of those who oversee political campaigns or run their own firms, Vanessa Cárdenas of CárdenasStrategies told Axios.

  • She said Latinas are nearly one in five of the U.S. female population and vote at higher rates than their male counterparts, yet comprise only 4.3% of those in companies' top management positions and less than 3% in Congress.
  • "You start off, doing it for the cause, La Causa, and then you got to figure out how to sustain it, how to make a living at it," said Neri Holguin, a Latina Democratic political consultant based in Albuquerque, who is not part of the collaborative. Holguin said consultants' successes are based on reputation, and breaking through the door is always the hardest part.

What we're watching: BOLD PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has quietly undergone a transformation under chair U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), who has hired an almost entirely Latina staff.

  • "All of our senior staff happen to be women... It's something that has come naturally over time," BOLD PAC executive director Victoria McGroary told Axios.
  • The group's communications director, Diana Castañeda, said Democratic Latinas want to see more of their candidates in House races. "We have a different perspective that adds value."
Go deeper