Latin Chamber group endorses Reid over Sandoval

IMPACTO, the political arm of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, has endorsed Democrat Rory Reid over Republican Brian Sandoval in the race for Nevada governor, a Latin Chamber official said Tuesday.

Luis Valera, chairman of the chamber board, said a majority of the six-person IMPACTO committee preferred Reid despite the fact that Sandoval would be Nevada’s first Hispanic governor should he win Nov. 2. He didn’t give the vote count.

"Everybody had their own personal analysis of the race," Valera said. "Both candidates have reached out and have their merits. I think everybody was voting their personal evaluation."

Both Reid and Sandoval sought the endorsement. Reid, chairman of the Clark County Commission and son of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks Spanish and has worked hard to cultivate the Hispanic vote. Reid has sought and gained support Hispanic celebrities, including comedian Carlos Mencia and activist Dolores Huerta. Otto Merida, executive director of the Latin Chamber and the group Hispanics in Politics, also has endorsed Reid.

Sandoval has had difficulty courting Hispanic votes. His stance in support of Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration law was a sore subject with many Hispanic voters and his campaign also had a dispute with the Univision television outlet in Las Vegas.

A Univision anchor reported in a newspaper column that Sandoval said his children "don’t look Hispanic" while discussing whether he would be worried about his family facing harassment under an Arizona-type law. Sandoval denied making the statement, but also said if he did say it, it was wrong. Univision couldn’t produce any audio of Sandoval making the remark.

Although the controversy over the alleged remark was first reported months ago, Sandoval was still fielding questions about it as recently as last Thursday following his debate with Reid in Las Vegas, suggesting the issue still has legs in the Spanish-speaking media.

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