4 Leading Latinas Mobilizing Change in Arizona

Arizona is experiencing a number of shifts in its political landscape. Its growth of Latino voters and the growing inclusion of women in electoral politics has eyes on the Grand Canyon State.

Alongside leaders including House Minority Whip Charlene Fernandez, House Minority Leader, Rebecca Rios, District 2 House Member Rosanna Gabaldón, and State Senator Catherine Miranda stands four women emerging to the forefront of their local races.

January Contreras, Arizona Attorney General Candiate


Contreras, a former Assistant Attorney General under former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, is the only Democrat running in a state that favors Republicans in statewide office.

She has raised over 300 thousand dollars towards her campaign and has been endorsed by Emily’s List, a political action committee that aids in the election pro-choice Democratic women candidates to office.

“That is who I am, I carry this with me every day”

Contreras is motivated by her experience to turn the office into one that serves the public interest instead of those of a political party. A proud Arizonian, Contreras is a graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson and works on issues including public safety, health care for Arizona families, protection of seniors, and support of small businesses.

“…we have a federal administration taking actions that don’t always respect the constitution. Yet we don’t have anybody to fight it”

Elora Diaz, Phoenix Elementary School Board Candidate


Every parent should be able to see their child achieve their goals, just like my mom saw me achieve mine.”

Tucson native, Elora Diaz is running for Phoenix Elementary School Board in a district predominantly comprised of Latinos and students of color. The Arizona State University alumna went from 9th-grade teacher to lobbying the state legislature for a non-profit and is working on her graduate degree in education at ASU while serving as a policy advisor for the Mayor of Phoenix.

“I’ve been wanting to do this before Trump,” said Díaz. “But when he was elected I felt more urgency as a community leader and do something more. I need to do something,” she said. 

Raquel Terán, State Legislator, 30th Legislative District Candidate


A community advocate and organizer, Teran is running to represent the Democratic Party against six candidates in the August primary. Already having outraised her opponents, Teran is an advocate for progressive policies such as investing more in public schools, protecting women’s reproductive rights, job creation and preserving the Affordable Care Act.

“I have seen how hard our community works, how we never give up, and how we are always there for our neighbors.”

Terán has also been part of a group building a political and civic movement over the last 12 years to counter the state’s recent history of hardline immigration policies. When asked by NBC News if Donald Trump has been a compelling motivation for her, she said, “We’ve been a Donald Trump state long before Donald Trump, chipping away at our rights. Arizona has been a testing ground.”

Alma Hernandez, Legislative District 3 Candidate


Legislative District 3 candidate Alma Hernandez will be running to replace a seat left open due to term limits by Macario Saldate and Sally Ann Gonzáles. With a focus on education and health policy, Hernández is fighting for more representation of women and Latinos in the wake of the Trump presidency. “It’s time to be alive,” she said in an interview.

“There are barriers, but my parents taught us not to let anyone treat us differently,” she said. Hernández has her Masters in Public Health from the University of Arizona and recently headed Arizonans United for Healthcare to defend the Affordable Care Act.

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