Purpose – This chapter examines the shift in political leadership from white ethnics and African-Americans to Hispanic/Latino representation in city-wide offices. Specifically, we explore the electoral coalition that Angel Taveras constructed to become Providence, Rhode Island’s first Latino mayor. This victory illustrates the continued strength of Hispanic/Latino political candidates in American politics.Design/method – Using public opinion survey data and a ward-by-ward analysis we provide a detailed breakdown of the type of voter Taveras appealed to and where these individuals reside.Findings – Taveras’s win was anchored in the upper-income, white liberal wards of the city. In addition, he won in the old Irish and Italian wards now inhabited by African-Americans and Hispanic/Latino voters. Overall, the significant growth of the Hispanic/Latino community in Providence from 30 percent in 2000 to 38 percent in 2010 was pivotal to his victory.Originality/value – This chapter provides an in-depth examination of how a Latino candidate won in a Northeastern city that had been dominated by Irish and Italian political leaders. The coalition that Taveras constructed highlights how Latinos appeal to liberal white voters. Finally, Taveras’s victory signals the continued political ascension and strength of the Hispanic/Latino community.
Orr, M. and Nordlund, C. (2013), "Chapter 1 Political Transformation in Providence: The Election of Mayor Angel Taveras", Perry, R.K. (Ed.) 21st Century Urban Race Politics: Representing Minorities as Universal Interests (Research in Race and Ethnic Relations, Vol. 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0195-7449(2013)0000018005
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