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Top Nevada Latina Democrat Sen. Cortez Masto skips award ceremony for Hispanic Heritage month

Some Nevadans were reportedly surprised Cortez Mastio was absent since she often bills herself as "the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate"

October 19, 2022 3:13pm

Updated: October 19, 2022 3:13pm

Nevada Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was a no-show Friday night after receiving an invitation to accept a leadership award from a Latino media group in her state, instead sending a surrogate who explained the incumbent legislator had a prior campaign commitment.

The Hispanic Community Leadership Appreciation Award was given by El Concilio Hispano, a Latino media group that runs a popular talk radio program in Nevada, reported The Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday.

The award was designated for Cortez Masto as a co-recipient, and was given during Hispanic Heritage month. Three other Latina Democrats reportedly accepted the award, posing arm-in-arm at the Factory of Dreams banquet hall in Las Vegas.

Those three guests of honor were Las Vegas city councilwoman Olivia Diaz, State Assemblywoman and Nevada AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Susie Martinez (D.), and Lieutenant Governor Lisa Cano Burkhead (D.), who is also on the ballot this November.

The event reportedly drew many local Hispanic community leaders with Election Day just less than a month away.

In 2016 the Latina Democrat conquered 61% of the Latino vote, according to exit polls.

Six years later, however, Cortez Masto's Latino base appears to be significantly diminishing as many working class residents have become frustrated with the Democrats failure to maintain a steady U.S. economy and President Joe Biden’s inability to contain rising inflation.

An October poll from Suffolk University and USA Today and found that just 49% of Hispanic voters are currently supporting Cortez Masto. According to a recent survey conducted by FiveThirtyEight, the Latina Democrat is currently tied with Republican challenger Adam Laxalt.

These numbers are crucial since Hispanic voters may be the tipping point for whether Cortez Masto's is reelected this term. Twenty percent of Nevada midterm voters are expected to be Latinos, according to a report published by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Some Nevadans were reportedly surprised Cortez Mastio was absent since she often bills herself as "the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate" amid what has shaped up to be a tough reelection bid against Laxalt. The race has earned media attention since it could determine who controls the Senate next year.

Laxalt and the Republican National Committee have fought hard to earn the support of area Latino voters, as many conservatives have come to realize the demographic is key to winning the midterm elections this November.

On Thursday, Laxalt held a Hispanic Heritage Month event at the committee’s Las Vegas Hispanic Community Center, in which he criticized both Biden and Cortez Masto on the race's hottest issues: inflation and the economy.

Laxalt said Cortez Masto’s had voted for trillions of dollars in government spending under Biden, and accused his opponent of averting reality, saying that she  “pretends she's independent… but she never stood against these policies." 

“We have a chance in this race to save the American dream,” the Republican hopeful said. “If we get Senator Masto out of her office, the government will stop spending, they will stop increasing inflation, and they will stop raising gas prices.”