Polls show Latinos across the country are turned off by Donald Trump’s rhetoric on immigration. But will that affect how Central Washington’s growing Latino community votes in the Republican versus Republican race for the Fourth Congressional District?
A shift in challenger Clint Didier’s stance on immigration from support for self-deportation in 2014 to now calling for a pathway to citizenship as well as a militarized border has garnered him the endorsement of several prominent Latinos who supported his rival U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse two years ago.
Other Latinos remain wary, based on Didier’s past statements.
Observers credited Latino and liberal voters with pushing Newhouse ahead of Didier 51 percent to 49 percent in 2014. More than a third of the Fourth Congressional District’s 700,000 residents are Hispanic, according to the 2015 Census.
David Cortinas, the editor of La Voz, the Spanish-language newspaper in the Tri-Cities, is endorsing Didier this year. He says that Newhouse lost the support of many Latinos when he voted against the program that allowed young, undocumented immigrants to stay in the country.
But Didier is also claiming the endorsement of the Latino Coalition of the Tri-Cities, which has not endorsed either candidate, a spokesman said.
And a spokesman for the Newhouse campaign said that voters should know that on his weekly radio show, Didier has called for getting rid of people who don’t want to learn English and referred to Newhouse as a traitor to America after he voted for a bill that would give immigrants who serve in the military the right to become naturalized citizens.