Boasting political support from Arizona first -- and only -- Latino governor, David Garcia writes on Facebook that he is "humbled to receive the support of a man I have admired since I was a boy -- former Governor Raúl Castro.
Castro, who was elected governor in 1974 and served two years before answering a call from President Jimmy Carter to serve as ambassador to Argentina, says that it's "hard to believe" that since he was elected governor 40 years ago, "no other Latino has been elected to statewide office."
See also: -Diane Douglas, Candidate for Superintendent, Finally Faces Opponent David Garcia -Garcia Lands AZ Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's First-Ever Political Endorsement -Garcia Endorsed by Three Former AZ Schools Chiefs in Bid for State Superintendent
In the Facebook post, the 98-year-old Castro reminds readers of Arizona's "proud Latino heritage" and notes that "we need state representation that is reflective of our citizens, and likewise, we need a state superintendent who is cognizant of the needs and challenges of our students."
The achievement gap between Latino students and their non-minority counterparts has repeatedly highlighted in an April 2012 report, "Dropped? Latino Education and Arizona's Economic Future," published by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University.
"Arizona's Latinos* - our fastest-growing population group - continue to display substantial shortcomings in educational performance levels, lagging well behind the state's White population," the report stated. "In 2001, Latinos' progress and potential were offset by low educational attainment. Too many Latinos fail to acquire the education, training and mentoring needed to succeed in a skills-based economy. Barely half of Arizona Hispanics, for example, obtained a high school education."
Castro says that Garcia is the "visionary leader who can bridge this gap and relate to the struggles and strengths of this population."
Got a tip? Send it to: Monica Alonzo.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.