Since January, Latino-focused Political Action Committees supporting Hispanic candidates have taken root around the country. Now, Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores has created her own.
The “Impacto Fund” is a coalition of legislators from across the southwest, including a representative from California, two state representatives from Arizona, a representative from Colorado and a representative from Texas.
“I feel like we’re precluding a lot of great candidates from even getting their foot in the door because they don’t even have the capacity - the tools, the skills, the monetary resources - to even win their first race at the school board level,” says Flores.
Flores makes it clear that Impacto will only support Democratic candidates, and they’re starting at the local level … for now.
“We want to grow this into something national and to something where we can start supporting federal candidates as well,” says Flores.
Currently, Impacto’s fundraising goal is $130 thousand, but Flores envisions a time when Impacto can raise enough to reach super PAC status.
“The goal of $130 thousand will max out our candidates in our respective states,” says Flores, adding that they can then build upon that momentum for the future. In contrast, the American Worker super PAC will spend up to $1 million per race to get Democratic candidates elected in districts with large Latino populations.
“Here in Nevada we’re supporting Stavan Corbett for Board of Regents,” says Flores. “These are the types of races where we hope to have our immediate impact. For example we are getting involved in the Paul Penzone campaign in Arizona; he’s the candidate who’s running against Sheriff Arpaio.”
Although Flores says for now that Impacto will only provide basic strategic support to candidates, including how to best fundraise or how to pick a good mailing house, she says they may one day fund political ads. And given the current political climate, she can’t completely rule out the possibility that the ads will be negative.
“Clearly you never want to go negative in a campaign to begin with. Clearly that’s something we’d have to consider and cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Flores calls political ads “an unfortunate reality of politics,” but acknowledges that if necessary, it’s a strategy she keeps in her back pocket.
But for now Impacto is focused on holding fundraisers for each of the coalition members.
“Based on the preliminary conversations that we’ve all had, it sounds like there’s a lot of support out there,” says Flores. “People have been looking for this kind of effort and people are very willing to hop on board and help us fundraise.”