Hispanic group suggests Arizona candidate is to blame for falsely identifying as Latino

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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A prominent group of Hispanic elected officials is apparently blaming an Arizona congressional hopeful for providing incorrect information used in the organization’s directory.

The Daily Caller reported on Tuesday that former Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema — who identifies as Dutch — has been incorrectly listed by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials as Hispanic.

The story could be problematic for Sinema, who is running for a U.S. House seat, if it is proved she tried passing herself off as Hispanic. In response to the story, Sinema campaign spokesman Rodd McCleod denied that Sinema self-identified as a Hispanic and called it “NALEO’s mistake.”

But in a statement released Tuesday, NALEO stood by its claim that it only lists officeholders who tell them they are Hispanic.

“The directory is designed only as a database for elected officials who designate themselves as Latino or Hispanic,” said Amanda Bosquez, a spokeswoman for the NALEO.

“NALEO relies on the elected officials and staff to indicate whether they are Latino for inclusion in this database,” she said.

After providing the statement, the spokeswoman did not respond to a follow-up question about the situation.

The organization said in the statement that its executive director, Arturo Vargas, will conduct an internal review in response to the revelation about Sinema to “ensure the organization continues to provide the most accurate and timely information possible.”

“Senator Sinema has informed us that she is not Latina and we will work to ensure this is reflected in future editions of directory and other informational materials,” the organization said.

Despite the revelation, NALEO said it considers Sinema “in good standing with the organization.”

“While the Senator is not a current member of NALEO, we would welcome her back should she serve in an elected or appointed official capacity in the future,” Bosquez said.

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