Congressional Hispanic Caucus Welcomes Two New House Members During Swearing-In Day

Jan 3, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) welcomed two new Members to the CHC, all whose elections mark historic breakthroughs in the United States Congress: Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03), and Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15). Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), an existing CHC Member, was sworn in today as a new Senator. We anticipate Senator-designate Alex Padilla will join the CHC in the coming weeks when he is sworn-in to the Senate before Inauguration Day on January 20, 2020.

“It is my honor to welcome two new House Members to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Congresswoman Leger Fernandez from New Mexico and Congressman Torres from New York join the Caucus at a pivotal moment in history, as we prepare to tackle threats to our democracy, economy, and public health,” said Chairman Ruiz. “The Caucus will draw on the strengths and fresh perspectives of the new CHC members, and I look forward to working with them to advance public policy that creates lasting change for Hispanic families.” 

New Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members:

U.S. House of Representatives:

Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez is the first woman and Latina to represent New Mexico’s third congressional district. She brings decades of experience working to advance voting rights, promote tribal sovereignty, and protect New Mexico’s environment, sacred sites, and traditional acequia waters. 

Congressman Ritchie Torres is the first openly gay Afro Latino elected to Congress. After becoming the youngest elected official in New York City, he led the fight to fund safe, affordable housing, as well as improved living conditions for public housing residents. 

U.S. Senate:

Senator Ben Ray Luján is leaving the House of Representatives after his election to the Senate, becoming the state’s first Hispanic senator in more than 40 years. In the House of Representatives, he worked to expand quality health care and protect patients with pre-existing conditions, preserve our natural resources and sacred sites, build a clean energy economy, and uplift working families. He has been a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus since his first term in Congress beginning in 2009.

Senator-Designate Alex Padilla will be sworn in before Inauguration Day on January 20th. His appointment to the Senate makes him the first Hispanic to serve as U.S. Senator for California. Padilla previously served as California Secretary of State and the California State Senate where he led the initiative on efforts against climate change.