California leads the nation in the percentage increase of Latino elected officials, the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials reported.
This year, Latinos won 580 elective offices in California--an increase of 20.8% over last year. A total of 3,783 Latinos hold elected offices nationwide.
Officials say that the increase--primarily at the county, municipal and school board level--will translate into a rise in political influence over the next decade for Latinos nationwide.
For the sixth year, women made substantial gains; Latinas now comprise 19.7% of Latino officeholders.
But while the association's figures show increased political activity, Latinos account for less than 1% of all elected officials.