WASHINGTON (AP) — Los hispanos alcanzaron el martes una representación sin precedentes en el Congreso de Estados Unidos al elevar a tres la cantidad de senadores y a 26 la de representantes.

El republicano Ted Cruz hizo historia al convertirse en el primer latino en representar a Texas en el Senado, donde se reunirá con otros dos cubano-estadounidenses: su colega de partido Marco Rubio y el demócrata Bob Menéndez, quien obtuvo su primera reelección.

El demócrata Richard Carmona, ex director nacional de Salud Pública durante el mandato de George W. Bush, fracasó en su intento por convertirse en el cuarto senador hispano al caer tras una reñida competencia en Arizona frente al representante republicano Jeff Flake, que reemplazará al también republicano Jon Kyl.

En la misma jornada, 26 legisladores hispanos han asegurado hasta el momento su escaño en la cámara de representantes, superando la presencia actual de 24. A primera hora del miércoles aún no se conocía si el representante Joe Baca lograría reelegirse ni si el doctor Raúl Ruiz —ambos demócratas de California— lograría arrebatar el escaño a la republicana Mary Bono Mack.

LEE LOS COMENTARIOS A ESTA NOTA Y AGREGA EL TUYO


El grupo de elegidos por primera vez está conformado por los demócratas Joaquín Castro —legislador estatal— y el abogado Filemón Vela (ambos por Texas), el senador estatal Juan Vargas y el concejal de Los Angeles Tony Cárdenas (ambos por California), y la ex comisionada del condado Bernalillo, Michelle Luján Grisham, en Nuevo México.


Joe García en Florida y Pete Gallego en Texas llegaron por primera vez a la cámara baja con victorias sobre republicanos.


Los demócratas que lograron la reelección el martes son Lucille Roybal-Allard, Grace Flores Napolitano, Xavier Becerra, Loretta y Linda Sánchez (California), Raúl Grijalva y Ed Pastor (ambos por Arizona), Luis Gutiérrez (Illinois), Albio Sires en Nueva Jersey, Ben Ray Luján en Nuevo México, Rubén Hinojosa y Henry Cuéllar (ambos en Texas), y los neoyorquinos Nydia Velásquez y José Serrano.


Los republicanos reelegidos hasta el momento son Raúl Labrador (Idaho), Bill Flores (Texas), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen y Mario Díaz-Balart (ambos por Florida).


Un total de 49 candidatos latinos, 32 demócratas, 16 republicanos y uno sin afiliación declarada —tal como permite una ley recién aprobada en California— aspiraban a escaños en la cámara baja. California podría duplicar la cantidad de latinos de su delegación, de seis a 11.


La Asociación Nacional de Funcionarios Latinos Designados y Electos, con sede en Washington, esperaba que al menos 27 triunfaran, incluyendo 22 en funciones o hispanos que buscan remplazar a otros latinos.


Abogado de 41 años, Cruz se impuso ante el ex representante estatal demócrata Paul Sadler para ocupar el escaño que la republicana Kay Bailey Hutchison dejó vacante al jubilarse.


Las encuestas le concedían a Cruz apenas 2% de apoyo cuando iniciaron las primarias de su partido. Su padre nació en Cuba y luchó junto a Fidel Castro antes de que su gobierno se volviera comunista, para luego huir a Texas sin hablar inglés y con 100 dólares escondidos en su ropa interior.


Cruz nació en Canadá mientras sus padres trabajaban en campos petroleros, pero se crió en Houston y tiene una oratoria populista que pulió al convertirse en campeón de debates en la Universidad de Princeton y cuando cursaba derecho en Harvard.


Joaquín Castro, un mexicano-americano de segunda generación oriundo de San Antonio y egresado de Harvard, remplazará a Charlie González, quien ejerció la presidencia del comité de legisladores hispanos.


Castro es hermano gemelo del alcalde de San Antonio, Julián Castro, quien fue el orador principal de la convención demócrata.


Tanto Castro como Vela lanzaron sus candidaturas en distritos electorales recién creados.


En Florida, el demócrata Joe García se impuso al republicano —y también cubano-estadounidense— David Rivera, a quien la Comisión de Etica de la Florida halló una causa probable para abrir una investigación el mes pasado por presuntamente cometer 11 violaciones a leyes que regulan la ética cuando era legislador estatal.


Las acusaciones contra Rivera incluyen el presuntamente haber recibido dinero de la Southwest Florida Enterprises Inc., una empresa involucrada con el canódromo Flagler en Miami, pese a que él sabía o debería haber sabido que esos recursos iban a influir su voto o una acción oficial a favor de dichas compañías.


Se le acusó también de presuntamente haber destinado recursos de la campaña en gastos no relacionados con ella y de supuestamente haber suscrito un contrato de un millón de dólares a través de la empresa Millennium Marketing, Inc. con Southwest Florida.


Dichas empresas, dicen los alegatos, crearon presuntos conflictos de intereses entre las obligaciones públicas de Rivera y los intereses de estas compañías. Del Milenio, empresa fundada por la madre de Rivera, firmó en 2006 un contrato para gestionar, con éxito, una campaña para poner más máquinas tragamonedas en un referendo votado en el condado de Miami-Dade.


Rivera, quien emitió un comunicado negando vehemente haber cometido infracción alguna y acusó a la Comisión de Etica de la Florida de prestarse a manejos políticos en plena campaña electoral, también es objeto de una investigación federal por presuntas violaciones fiscales.


García reconoce que se ha beneficiado de los problemas de Rivera, quien lo venció 52 a 43% hace dos años.


Rivera y García trabajaron simultáneamente para la Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana, Rivera como investigador en Washington y García como director.


García, de 48 años, laboró en el departamento de Energía durante el primer gobierno del presidente Barack Obama.


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Luis Alonso Lugo está en Twitter como www.twitter.com/luisalonsolugo


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  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama watches as first lady Michelle Obama gives a thumbs up at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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    President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden acknowledge the crowd at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • President Barack Obama , joined by his wife Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his spouse Jill acknowledge applause after Obama delivered his victory speech to supporters gathered in Chicago early Wednesday Nov. 7 2012. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama waves to his supporters after his speech at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. At right is Vice President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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    CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06: U.S. President Barack Obama walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia to deliver his victory speech on election night at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

    CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06: U.S. President Barack Obama walks out on stage to deliver his victory speech on election night at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

    CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06: U.S. President Barack Obama walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia to deliver his victory speech on election night at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Mitt Romney

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  • Kelly Rodgers, 18, of Philadelphia, holds a sign saying "We Will Barack You" as people celebrate outside of the White House after President Barack Obama won re-election against Mitt Romney in the presidential election on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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  • Obama 2012

    President Barack Obama supporters celebrate televised reports of his projected re-election for president of the United States during a rally at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

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    Supporters cheer as a network projects the re-election of President Barack Obama at his election night party Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Barack Obama

    A supporter reacts to election results at the election night party for President Barack Obama Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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    Supporters of US President Barack Obama react to results on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Cean Orrett, 45, center, and Gareth Edmondson-Jones, 46, of San Diago, both recently married in New York, react to positive predictions for President Barack Obama as crowds watch election results in Times Square, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in New York. After a year of campaigning, polls have begun to close after Americans across the United States headed to the polls to decide the winner of the tight presidential race between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

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    A supporter of US President Barack Obama attends the US election night party in Milan on November 7, 2012 . AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • Amy Kobuchar

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  • Addey Munye

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  • Voters wait to cast a ballot at P.S. 33 in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in New York. Voting in a the U.S. presidential election was the latest challenge for the hundreds of thousands of people in the New York-New Jersey area still affected by Superstorm Sandy, as they struggled to get to non-damaged polling places to cast their ballots in one of the tightest elections in recent history. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at a polling station in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Puerto Ricans are electing a governor as the U.S. island territory does not get a vote in the U.S. presidential election. But they are also casting ballots in a referendum that asks voters if they want to change the relationship to the United States. A second question gives voters three alternatives: become the 51st U.S. state, independence, or sovereign free association, a designation that would give more autonomy. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

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