Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hispanic Caucus Endorses Patrick Branco, Who Could Become Hawaii’s First Latino Representative

On Tuesday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ campaign, known as Bold PAC, endorsed Patrick Branco, a Hawaii state lawmaker, who could become the first Latino from the state elected to Congress.

Bold PAC’s endorsement is timely since Branco is running in a two-way Democratic primary against former state Sen. Jill Tokuda. The endorsement could potentially mean more donors and further endorsements for Branco, as well as some political popularity as the organization has successfully backed its endorsees against other Democratic candidates this cycle.

Branco, a descendant of Puerto Ricans who migrated to Hawaii, also has native Hawaiian, Filipino and Chinese roots. He said he looks forward to working in Congress to upgrade Puerto Rico’s territorial status.

“As a Puerto Rican but also a native Hawaiian, I have a unique perspective on this. When Hawaii was a territory, we were treated as second-class citizens,” he expressed.

The August primary between Branco and Tokuda will decide who gets the party’s nomination for retiring Rep. Kai Kahele’s seat. Both of Hawaii’s congressional districts are safe Democratic seats.

Branco said Hawaii needs long-term representation in Congress, especially to participate in major infrastructure projects, which can be challenging for a 1,500-mile-long archipelago. He also stated that Hawaii’s geography offers unique opportunities for renewable energy, which could help replace the state’s failing agriculture sector.

“Whether as a Diplomat in the US Foreign Service or as a State Representative, Patrick has dedicated his life to serving Hawai’i and our country. In Congress, Patrick will help bring down Hawai’i’s ever-rising cost of living by bringing good-paying jobs to the state, and secure the federal support needed to strengthen Hawai’i’s rural areas and agricultural sector,” said Bold PAC Chairman, Democrat Ruben Gallego from Arizona, in a statement.

The Hill