Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have each released their first Spanish-language television ad in Arizona as they try to appeal to Latino voters ahead of the state’s primary on Tuesday.
Clinton’s ad titled "Valentia" (which means courage in English) casts the former secretary of state as a friend of the Latino community. It touts her record of fighting for issues important to Latinos — including immigration reform, healthcare, and affordable college tuition — and contrasts her with Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who endorsed Trump for president. The 30-second ad is running in Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma.
“There will always be obstacles, but with a friend like Hillary, we keep moving forward,” the narrator says.
Meanwhile, Sanders' campaign released a Spanish-language ad titled "Valores" (which means values in English) in which U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Tucson) says he supports Sanders because he's "authentic." In the 30-second ad, Grijalva, who was the first member of Congress to endorse Sanders and who appears in a radio ad released recently, also speaks about Sanders' values.
"The values that Bernie has are the values of his country," Grijalva says in the ad. "The values of working hard, the values of equality, the values that everyone has the opportunity. These are American values."
Sanders' campaign released another 30-second Spanish-language ad that focuses on the economy. The narrator talks about Sanders’ plans to make Wall Street banks pay for their fair share of taxes, provide decent wages for the working class, and provide equal pay for women.
“The middle class will continue to disappear unless we level the playing field,” Sanders says in the ad through a Spanish interpreter. “With your help, as president, we will.”
The ads come as Clinton and Sanders compete for the Latino vote in Arizona. There are 992,000 eligible Latinos voters in Arizona, and they make up 22 percent of the state's eligible voters, according to the Pew Research Center.
Sanders held a campaign rally in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday, the third time the Vermont U.S. senator has made a campaign stop in the state. His wife, Jane Sanders, also has been campaigning here over the last few days on his behalf. On Monday, she visited Arpaio's Tent City and questioned the sheriff on the conditions in which inmates are held there and about his office's racial profiling of Latinos.
Clinton hasn’t campaigned in Arizona, though her campaign has announced she'll be in Phoenix on Monday. She has picked up the endorsement of several prominent Latinos leaders from the state, including Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix).
Sanders, too, has Latinos from Arizona backing him. Besides Grijalva, Latino state lawmakers, including state Sen. Martin Quezada, and one of Arizona's most prominent Latino-led organization, Living United for Change in Arizona, also endorsed Sanders.
According to a recent poll, Clinton is leading Sanders in Arizona. The poll by the Phoenix-based Westgroup Research shows that among Democratic voters statewide, 50 percent support Clinton and 24 percent support Sanders. But another 26 percent still are undecided.
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