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Fiorina Supporters Court Conservative Latinos

KPBS SPECIAL COVERAGE

November Election 2010

— Since mid-September, Carly Fiorina's supporters have been reaching out to Latinos in 42 cities throughout California. Last night, the "Vote Your Values" bus stopped at an evangelical church inside a strip mall in Chula Vista.

A group of about 50 people came together for prayer, and then, for a campaign message.

Alfonso Aguilar was among those who led the bus tour. He's the director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, which endorses Fiorina.

"Vota Tus Valores, Vote Your Values, is a campaign to encourage Latino voters to vote for life, for marriage, and we're encouraging them to vote for Carly Fiorina," says Aguilar. "Not because she's a Republican, this is an independent expenditure telling Latinos to vote for their values."

Fiorina hopes to unseat incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer by courting Latino voters -- especially the church-going crowd. Latinos of all faiths currently make up about 20 percent of the state's electorate, according to Public Policy Institute of California.

But not everyone in the crowd accepted the Vote Your Values message.

"I'm a Latina. I want the same things that everybody else wants, I want to be able to make choices, I want the freedom to marry who I want to marry," said Phyllis Lozano, a field organizer and a critic of this and other campaigns trying to get the Latino vote.

"So you know, to target me and to say that these are the traditional Latino values -- well, that doesn't mean that we're all the same."

A recent L.A. Times poll says that many Latino voters remain reluctant to vote for Republican candidates this midterm election. They give Democrat Barbara Boxer a 38-point lead over Fiorina.

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