5 Things to Know About the First Latina Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

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Catherine Cortez Masto. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty

Catherine Cortez Masto has made history by becoming the first Latina senator after winning the Nevada Senate contest on Tuesday.

Cortez Masto defeated Representative Joe Heck in a tight race to fill the seat of Democratic minority leader Senator Harry Reid — She received 47 percent of the vote, while Heck received 45 percent.

Here are four things to know about the boundary-breaking politician:

1. She is also Nevada’s first female senator.

I’m proud to be Nevada’s first female and our nation’s first Latina senator,” Cortez Masto tweeted on Wednesday. “It’s about time our government mirrors the diversity of our nation.”

2. She’s a former attorney general of Nevada.

Prior to serving two terms as Nevada’s attorney general, Cortez Masto worked as an assistant county manager for Clark County, Nevada. She also served as a federal criminal prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. and was chief of staff to governor Bob Miller, according to her website.

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3. She is the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant.

“My grandmother was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and my grandfather came from Chihuahua, Mexico. They came to this country and brought their young family here for the same reason many families do: to have a good job, work hard, have every opportunity to succeed, make sure your children get a good education, and you can’t forget that,” she told the website mitu. “If I forgot everything that my grandparents went through so that my sister and I could be the first ones in our family to graduate from college, that wouldn’t be right. We don’t close the door behind us.”

4. She has spoken out about about President Elect Donald Trump’s comments about Mexicans.

“We have a presidential candidate who wants to build a wall with Mexico, who has basically called Mexicans criminals, rapists and drug dealers,” she told mitu. “His whole campaign has been based on discrimination, divisive rhetoric, and misogyny.”

5. President Barack Obama has spoken out in her support.

During an October rally in Las Vegas, Obama described Cortez Masto as someone “who believes everyone deserves a chance,” and encouraged voters to choose her over Heck, reports the Las Vegas Sun.

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