Hispanic Heritage Month: Trailblazing Women You Should Know

BLFF Team | Oct 4, 2022

Updated 10/12/2023

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Post last year’s midterm elections, Latina women set new records for seats held in the U.S. Congress and House this year with 19 women serving in the 118th Congress. While this new record is a step toward increased representation, the number of Latina women in Congress is still not proportional to their population in the United States. As we close out Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting four more trailblazing Latina women who have and are paving the way for Latina women in politics.



Source: Catherine Cortez Masto website

Catherine Cortez Masto
Catherine Cortez Masto is the first Latina and first woman from Nevada to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Before Senator Cortez Masto was elected in 2017, she was the second woman to serve as the Attorney General of Nevada; she was the 32nd person to hold the position. Before her political career, Senator Cortez Masto worked as a civil attorney in Las Vegas and a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.


Source: Wikipedia

Heather Fargo
Heather Fargo is the first Latina ever to become mayor of a major U.S. City.

Fargo was elected Mayor of Sacramento in November 2000 and served in the position until December 2008. Before becoming mayor, Fargo was elected to the Sacramento City Council in 1989. During her mayoral tenure, Fargo was a strong proponent of gun control and environmentalism. Fargo is also an advocate for women in politics and continues to encourage women to run for office.


Source: Daniel’s Fund

Susana Martinez
Susana Martinez is the first Latina and first woman of color to serve as Governor in the United States.

Martinez was elected Governor of New Mexico in 2011, and she served in the position until 2019. As two-term governor, she prioritized keeping communities safe, ensuring all students receive a high-quality education, and diversifying and growing the state’s economy. Prior to her governorship, Martinez served three terms as a district attorney from 1997 until 2011.


Source: Wikipedia

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the first Cuban and Latina woman ever to be elected to Congress.

Ros-Lehtinen is also the first Republican woman to represent Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was elected to Congress in 1989 as the representative for Florida’s 27th congressional district, and she served in this position until her retirement in 2019. At the end of her tenure, Ros-Lehtinen was the most senior U.S. Representative from Florida.


Source: Caraveo.House.Gov

Yadira Caraveo
Yadira Caraveo is Colorado’s first Latina member of Congress.

Caraveo is a politician and pediatrician, serving as the U.S. representative for Colorado’s 8th congressional district. Prior to her current position, Caraveo represented the 31st district in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2019 to 2023.


Source: Wikipedia

Nydia Velázquez
Nydia Velazquez is one of the first Democratic Latinas to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Velazquez is also the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in the United States Congress. Velazquez was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1993 and chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus until January 3, 2011. Prior to serving in Congress, Velazquez taught political science at the university of Puerto Rico at Humacao, and was an adjunct professor of Puerto Rican studies at Hunter College.


Source: Delia for Congress

Delia Ramirez
Delia Ramirez is the first Latina to represent Illinois in Congress.

Ramirez was first elected in 2022, and serves as the U.S. representative from Illinois’ 3rd congressional district. Upon her election, Ramirez was named a potential squad member, but has not officially joined the group.


Source: Wikipedia

Lucille Roybal-Allard
Lucille Roybal-Allard is one of the first Democratic Latinas to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Roybal-Allard was first elected to Congress in 1993 and represented California until her retirement in 2023. Overall, Royball-Allard along with Velazquez were the third and fourth Latina women elected to Congress. Roybal-Allard was also the first Democratic Mexican-American woman elected to serve in Congress.






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