Nov 16, 2021 - Politics
Iowa group touts milestone for Latino candidates in Iowa elections
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

More than a dozen Latino and Latina leaders won seats in the Nov. 2 local elections in Iowa, Latino Political Network founder Rob Barron said.

  • The new representation likely marks a record in the state, according to the nonpartisan advocacy group.

State of play: Iowa's Latino population is one of the fastest-growing in the state. It doubled in size between 2010 and 2020, representing nearly 7% of Iowa's population.

  • By 2050, the state's Latino population is projected to grow to more than 407,00 — or about 12% of the state's population, according to the State Data Center.
  • Some of the biggest strides in electing Latino leaders have been in Iowa's rural communities.

Zoom in: West Liberty, a town of under 4,000, now has a Latino majority City Council — a first in Iowa history.

  • The newest members include Nadia Olsen, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico in 2004 for her graduate studies. She wants to be a voice for the "ignored" after she said her family suffered from city officials' negligence, reports West Liberty Index.
  • Dana Dominguez, who grew up in West Liberty, wants to create a "sense of belonging" for others, especially as the Latino community grows.

Between the lines: While many Latino voters lean left, the state's newer Latino elected officials represent both sides of the political aisle.

Go deeper: Read LPN's full list of recently elected Latino officials.

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