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It looks like Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R) of California’s 36th District is in trouble—this morning, Daily Kos has downgraded her tight Congressional race against Democrat Raul Ruiz from “Lean Republican” to “Tossup.” As David Nir at Daily Kos wrote:
Indeed, Bono Mack’s relationships with minority communities in her district seem to be a real problem for her, especially Latinos, whom she promised to reach out to … after the election. That’s a pretty serious issue, seeing as Hispanics make up 27 percent of the voting population of the redrawn 36th, about a quarter of which is brand-new to MBM. She’s also never faced a serious race, and her rust has put this one into serious play for Team Blue.
Among the “real problems” is this comment from last week, when Rep. Bono Mack pledged “that after November,” (italics ours), she would “try my hardest to speak to Latino voters.” This from a Congresswoman whose district is one-fifth Latino, who voted (along with her husband, Congressman Connie Mack, the GOP Senate candidate in Florida) against the DREAM Act in 2010.
Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Sun today wrote this warm mini-profile about Bono Mack’s opponent, Raul Ruiz, including him in a list of “Latino House candidates set to make history”:
Two Democrats, Jose Hernandez and Raul Ruiz, and a Republican, former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, are running in districts where they must also win non-Latino votes. All three are children of farmworkers and at least one immigrant parent with “rags-to-riches” stories that appeal across communities and parties…
Ruiz, a Harvard-trained physician with two additional graduate degrees from the school, is in a tight race with GOP Rep. Mary Bono Mack for California’s redrawn 36th Congressional District. He said his values of personal and social responsibility resonate with voters. As a poor student trying to get to college, he raised $2,000 from local businesses to buy his books for two years.
“I’d hand them a contract and I would tell them that I’m offering you an opportunity to invest in your community by investing in my education,” said Ruiz, 40, who returned to Coachella Valley where he practices emergency medicine.
No wonder Bono Mack’s in trouble.