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'Latinas Lead' Works to Get More Women Running for Elected Office

Griselda Nevarez

NBC News

Dec 7, 2016

There are not enough Latinas in political and elected positions, and those who have gotten there know it takes a lot more than the energy and desire to do it.

Patricia Torres Ray had thought about running for office, so when there was an open seat in the Minnesota Senate in 2006, she didn’t hesitate to announce her candidacy.

The Colombian native said her desire to be in a position where she could be “more influential” and “have a stronger voice” to advocate for children is what encouraged her to run. Torres Ray beat seven Democratic candidates in the primary and easily won the general election, becoming the first Latina elected to the Minnesota Senate.

But once in office, Torres Ray faced a major hurdle.