Arizonans will soon see the first Hispanic candidates in office

Juan Ciscomani makes his play in Arizona as Republicans look to expand their Hispanic ranks. Photo: Jason Henry/The Arizona Republic When Arizonans go door-to-door in April, they might see the same people they’ve seen…

Arizonans will soon see the first Hispanic candidates in office

Juan Ciscomani makes his play in Arizona as Republicans look to expand their Hispanic ranks. Photo: Jason Henry/The Arizona Republic

When Arizonans go door-to-door in April, they might see the same people they’ve seen since last November. And they may soon see some new faces: the first congressional and state-level Hispanics they might have seen in office.

They will have heard about the four candidates – three Republicans vying for open seats in the Senate and another in the House – who are Hispanic.

But when voters go door to door in central and northeast Phoenix, they’ll soon be looking for more: a candidate for the state Senate and another for the state House of Representatives who are Hispanic.

“I never considered myself Hispanic; I consider myself a Republican,” said Juan Ciscomani, a Republican running for the House seat in Phoenix that was held by a Democrat for the entire term of former state Rep. Tom O’Max, a former congressmen for 23 years.

But his campaign has made it known that as a first-time candidate, “I want to be seen as a Hispanic candidate,” he said, even offering a Hispanic photo of himself along with the photo of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that went viral in the wake of the New York Republican losing his seat.

Ciscomani’s new website, ciscomaniforaz.com, is the first of its kind anywhere in the state: a campaign website for prospective candidates that includes biographical information and a campaign kit.

The website was largely designed by volunteers with help from Ciscomani’s campaign.

“There’s not a lot of time. They have to be up to their neck in work,” said Mariel Rodriguez, his campaign manager.

Ciscomani hopes to make his debut in the campaign for the new House seat on May 5 when the Legislature convenes for its annual session. The House, Arizona’s lower house, opens on May 14 and the Senate on May 18.

In May 2015, former Rep. O’Max, a Republican from Glendale, resigned

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