“We just share our values . . . I’m not trying to cater to anybody. This is who I am. This is who you are. Do we share our values? Do we share our beliefs? And if so, we’ve made a connection. I’m just being the Hispanic that I am . . . and that’s how I’ve been converting people.”
In an exclusive interview with Politic365’s Justin Vélez-Hagan, Republican Congressional candidate Barbara Carrasco says that she sees an American message, not a Latino one, as the reason for some of her successes in the majority Democratic, 86 percent Latino district surrounding El Paso, Texas.
“At one point this lady says, ‘well I’m a Democrat.’ [But] after we finished talking and sharing our values, she offered to help me with my campaign. That is the reception I’m getting from so many Democrats [even] in El Paso . . . Many that are choosing to vote Republican are doing so for the first time in their life. But it takes a lot of grass roots work. There is no other way [for us] to get the message out.”
Does it help to speak Spanish to a highly Latino constituency?
Describing a recent, local event, Carrasco continues to explain how knowing the language of her constituency has made a difference. “After I spoke in Spanish, I had some of these women who were [long-time] Democrats . . . offering to help with my campaign. So there’s a connection to be made, but the Republican Party has not been reaching out to these people letting them know who we really are.”
Carrasco continues by saying that, to Latinos, it’s about relating to them on a personal level, not on a political one.
“As soon as you tell some of these people what your history is, that you’re a small business owner and you want to make sure that that hope is out there for our kids . . . and our future generations, they’re so receptive because that’s what they want for their families.”
Coming from an immigrant family, Carrasco tells how she was the third of eleven children, who went from working in the fields and washing dishes, to running her own freight company and living the American Dream.
But is her background and campaign style enough to win her, and the Republican Party, an extra seat in November?
Listen to the entire interview here: