New Arizona Latino Voting Bloc Will Elect Next U.S. Senator

Let me make a bold prediction.

Democratic nominee Dr. Rich Carmona will be elected Arizona's next United States Senator on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012; and it will be the Latino community that gives him the critical margin of victory.

This victory will change our democracy for the better.

In many ways Arizona has become the ground zero for the next evolution of our nation's political dynamics. Long regarded as a safe "Red State," demographic destiny has been playing its silent and inevitable hand shifting the equation in Arizona away from xenophobic rabble-rousers and their divisiveness.

With the Carmona statewide victory, the hateful rhetoric and actions of Joe Arpaio's racial profiling, Jan Brewer's SB 1070, and Romney's calls for "self-deportation," will be headed to the dustbin of history.

Tea Party anti-Mexican venom cannot stop Dr. Carmona. He is a Vietnam war hero, self-made success story, sheriff, trauma surgeon, and as United States Surgeon General, he was our nation's top physician.

Dr. Carmona's campaign is portraying us to the national voting public as we really are: hardworking Americans, who strive and work hard for our children's success, and believe deeply in a fair even-handed approach to public policy.

Dr. Carmona has run as an American and Latino success story that inspires and motivates all Americans who still believe that the American Dream is within the reach of everyone.

His opponent, former mining lobbyist and Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, carries heavy baggage.

U.S. Representative Jeff Flake has voted against veterans, women, seniors and the Dream Act students. Flake says that comprehensive immigration reform must wait until the border is secure, while Dr. Carmona says we can do both.

Jeff Flake is strongly and financially supported by Governor Jan Brewer, an architect of Latino voter suppression in Arizona since 2004, who boldly calls for denying drivers licenses to young Latino students who have qualified for residency under President Obama's Dream Act Executive Order.

The new Arizona Latino voting bloc clearly understands that the self-deportation team includes Romney, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Governor Jan Brewer and Jeff Flake.

Arizona's Latino voting bloc has grown dramatically. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials projects that almost 70,000 more Latinos will vote in Arizona in 2012 than in 2012, up from 291,000 to 359,000. (Nationally, the Latino vote may rise to over 12 million.)

From 2000 to 2010, Latino voter registration grew by 72 percent in Arizona. Census data indicate that the Latino citizen voting age population in Arizona is over 23 percent. It is estimated that the percentage of Latino registered voters as a percentage of all voters rose from 14.3 percent in 2008 to 18.4 percent in 2012.

These figures all will redound to Dr. Carmona's benefit.

Looking forward beyond Election Day, I anticipate that with Dr. Carmona's election to the United States Senate, he will join with solid leaders, like U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, to craft comprehensive immigration reform.

With Rich Carmona's victory, at last the reality of demographics will catch up with the urgency of real reform. And, the Arizona Latino voting bloc will deserve much of the credit for moving immigration reform and our country forward.

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