Their numbers growing, Latinos gain clout in new Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — A record 43 Latinos elected to Congress are set to take the oath of office in January. They include the youngest woman ever elected, two Latinas from Texas, the first Latino to represent Ohio and a woman born in Ecuador.

A few are ascending to leadership roles, demonstrating the growing clout of the 57 million Latinos who live in the United States.

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan will move into the fourth-highest position in the Democratic leadership, becoming the highest-ranking Latino in the history of the House.

Ten of the Latinos are incoming freshmen, all but one Democrats. The only one on the Republican side is Anthony Gonzalez, who was an Ohio State University football star and became a businessman.

Latinos constitute 18 percent of the total U.S. population.

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