Latino Victory Fund Announces New Slate of Congressional Candidates for Midterm Elections 

Washington, D.C. – Latino Victory Fund announced the endorsement of a new slate of congressional candidates as part of the organization’s efforts to boost Latino representation in the United States House of Representatives. The candidates are Robert Menendez Jr., New Jersey Congressional District 8; Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, New Mexico Congressional District 2; and Gilbert “Gil” Villegas, Illinois Congressional District 3. 

Latino Victory Fund President and CEO released the following statement:

“We are proud to endorse Robert Menendez Jr., Gabriel Vasquez, and Gilbert Villegas for Congress. It’s important to continue expanding Latino representation in Congress to ensure the People’s house gets closer to truly reflecting the more than 60 million Latinos in our country. Gabriel, Robert, and Gilbert are experienced, highly regarded leaders in their communities, and they support progressive issues that will help expand opportunities and equity for the Latino community. They will be formidable voices in Washington, D.C., who will advocate for policies that matter to Latinos and help create a better future for all.” 

Earlier today, Latino Victory Fund announced the endorsements of three Californian congressional candidates: Robert Garcia, California Congressional District 42; Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz, California Congressional District 25, re-election; and Rudy Salas, California Congressional District 22, for the 2022 midterm elections.

Meet the candidates: 

Robert Menendez, Jr. 

  • Menendez was born and raised in Hudson County, New Jersey. He’s the grandson of Cuban immigrants and hardworking Union members and the son of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. 
  • Menendez is counsel at the national law firm Lowenstein Sandler. In addition to his corporate practice, he has represented clients pro bono and served on the legal staff of the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest. 
  • In addition to his legal practice, Menendez serves as a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and as a trustee of The Hudson School in Hoboken, New Jersey. He earned an undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School.

Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez

  • Vasquez is a first-generation American who grew up in the borderlands and saw his mother work hard every day to support his family. 
  • As an aide at Senator Martin Heinrich’s office, he was instrumental in the designation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, protecting it from harmful development and safeguarding it for future generations. 
  • In 2017, Vasquez was elected to the Las Cruces City Council. In this role, he delivered millions of dollars in investment to create and improve parks, updated the district’s infrastructure, promoted policy that created thousands of jobs, and helped craft a comprehensive development plan that focused on lifting families out of poverty. 
  • Vasquez has also served as the executive director of the Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, worked in public lands conservation as the deputy state director for The Wilderness Society and founder of the Nuestra Tierra, and as a policy advocate promoting child welfare and family wellbeing at the federal level.

Gilbert “Gil” Villegas 

  • Villegas is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served overseas between 1988 and 1992 during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. 
  • Before his deployment, he was assigned to the 2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Missile (LAAM) Battalion in Yuma, Arizona. Villegas was a truck driver for nine years following his honorable military service. Before pursuing public service opportunities, he was a member and union shop steward with Bakery Drivers, Teamsters Local 734. 
  • Villegas has also served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Business and Workforce Diversity at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and as the Associate Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA). 
  • In 2015, Villegas was elected alderman of Chicago’s 36th Ward, located on the city’s Northwest Side, encompassing the diverse neighborhoods of Belmont Cragin, Dunning–Schorsch Village, Hermosa, Montclare, and Portage Park. 
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