After raising $6 million by 2016 and remaining on course to help the Hispanic Caucus’ political action committee (BOLD PAC) raise $10 million to help elect Latino candidates to Congress, Rep. Tony Cardenas is one of at least three Latinos in line to manage the Democratic Party’s 2018 election campaigns, according to NBC News.
Back when he campaigned for chairman of BOLD PAC, Rep. Cardenas made a promise to double or even triple the existing one million in funding.
“People laughed. They voted for me anyway and said ‘You want to try it, do it. Go for it, dude,'” Cardenas said.
Although BOLD PAC isn’t officially a party organization, having sufficient funds to back its candidates gives Latinos more of a say when it comes to choosing and endorsing the candidates that will inevitably shape the entire election races.
“Should Democrats take back the House, I think it’s going to have Tony’s fingerprints all over it,” said Albert Morales, citing both the funds Cardenas has raised as well as his robust and enthusiastic energy and team.
Morales is the senior political director of Latino Decisions polling firm and the former Hispanic engagement director of the Democratic National Committee. He also recalled time he spent on the golf course with Cardenas, who was a city council member at the time, and how he saw him even back then as a hard worker while discussing state and federal education policy throughout the four or five hours spent on the course.
“He’s just a workhorse,” Morales said.
Although every political campaign requires funding, Morales said that Cardenas’ success with fundraising is what’s helped him move into House leadership and continues to fuel the fire of his political potential.
Cardenas has been gaining momentum in the shaping of election races since his time spent in the California Assembly, becoming the first person of color to represent his district in the San Fernando Valley.
“But my goal wasn’t to be the first. It was to make sure I wasn’t the last,” Cardenas told NBC News.
Today, the average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times during his or her career, but Cardenas is far from average. After raising money for campaigns with former California State Senate Majority Leader Richard Polanco, then a member of the Assembly, he’s made his way to Congress and is working adamantly to increase BOLD PAC’s contributions for candidates. His goal is to get 50 Latinos in Congress by the time he hits a full decade with Congress, which will be 2023, assuming he continues to get re-elected.
“I don’t think that’s a lofty goal. I think that’s an honest and realistic goal,” he said.