from the Washington Free Beacon:
Democrats Embrace Identity Politics Roadmap for Victory in Arizona Gov Race
A longtime Democratic operative in Arizona says he is disappointed that David Garcia, the frontrunner in his party’s gubernatorial primary, has embraced a strategy of using his race to court Latino voters in the state.
Mario E. Diaz, who led Democrat Janet Napolitano’s successful campaign to be Arizona’s governor in 2002 and remains a prominent political strategist in the state, says he’s not aligned with any candidate for governor, but thinks Garcia’s aim of using his last name to win over Latino voters is both “insulting” and a “losing strategy.” He says the strategy has been overtly clear.
“This is not a dog whistle, this has been a dog howl,” Diaz said. “They are making the Latino community feel compelled to vote for somebody with the last name Garcia, which to me is an insult to the Latino voter.”
Democrats have long fantasized about the idea of harnessing the rapidly growing minority populations to flip the balance of power in traditionally red states like Arizona, characterizing it as a “demographic revolution.”
Liberal financier Steve Phillips responded to the party’s 2016 loss by founding Democracy in Color, “a political organization focused on race, politics and the multiracial, progressive New American Majority.” The strategy is outlined in his book, Brown Is the New White, which argues the Democratic Party’s future relies on harnessing “progressive people of color.”
Phillips wrote in The Nation earlier this summer that Garcia’s bid in Arizona offers a roadmap for his national plan, but his reasoning never goes beyond Garcia’s identity.
“With Garcia, a Mexican-American who comes from and resonates with the Latino community, at the head of the ticket, the potential to bring more Latinos to the polls is immense,” he wrote.