Every election cycle there are usually a few firsts that are accomplished when newly-elected members of the U.S. Congress are sworn in.
There was once the first Black, the first Asia, and the first Hispanic, even the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress.
The greatest growing voting demographic in the United States is the Latino community, and for the most party (almost entirely) all the Hispanic members of congress are either Mexican, Cuban, or of Puerto Rican descent.
The 2018 mid-term elections were no different.
For many moons, Cuban Americans like former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, his brother Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Rep, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former Rep, David Rivera, and Rep. Carlos Curbelo, have almost exclusively represented the Latin community in Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Collier Counties.
The Cuban-American stronghold has been broken.
Ecuadorian-born Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a Democrat, defeated Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo by the slimmest of margins, and Donna Shalala, another Democrat, replaces retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R).
I’m proud to make history as the first Ecuadorian in US Congress and the first Latina member born in South America. Now I’m ready to get to work with my incredible colleagues. Let’s do this!-Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Now Diaz-Balart is the only Cuban-American congressman left standing.
Unfortunately for Republicans, the once overwhelmingly faithful support from the aging Cuban exile community has dwindle over the years.
Newer generations of Cuban-Americans are not waving the exile flag, and are voting Democratic, and not Republican.
We saw this begin to occur during the Obama years, and now this year’s mid-term elections solidify that the tide has turned in in South Florida, especially in Miami-Dade County.