Darren Soto just became the first Puerto Rican to represent Florida in the U.S. Congress.
The lawyer, who defeated Republican Wayne Liebnitzky by a 57 to 43 percent margin, will represent the Sunshine State’s 9th Congressional District, which includes parts of Orlando, Kissimmee and St. Cloud.
The Democrat-leaning region is home to a vastly growing number of Puerto Ricans, who are settling in the area from crisis-ridden Puerto Rico and gentrified cities in the mainland’s northeast.
"I'm also so proud, con mucho orgullo, (with a lot of pride), that we are continuing on a historic run, one that represents the culmination of over a million puertoriqueños and millions of Hispanics here in Central Florida and beyond to be the first Puerto Rican elected from Florida and first Hispanic elected from Central Florida," Soto said after winning the primaries in August.
Soto, a New Jersey-born son of a computer worker and hairdresser, joins other Boricuas, including New York Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierréz, among others, in the U.S. Congress. However, he is the first to represent the transforming Puerto Rican diaspora in Central Florida.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Soto told Fox News Latino. “We finally get representation in our nation’s capital.”
This election year has been historic for Latinxs, and not just because white America elected an anti-immigrant reality TV star-demagogue as the country’s 45th president.
In addition to Soto, Catherine Cortez Masto made history as the first Latina senator, Suzana Mendoza became the first-ever Latina comptroller and Adriano Espaillat, who was formerly undocumented, became the first Dominican to ever be elected to U.S. Congress.