GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) – Like many Americans, Ricky Hurtado had plans for his summer.
He formally launched his first bid for public office in March and expected to spend sweltering days knocking on doors, clenching glossy campaign literature and making his case directly to voters. This summer, he was going prove that a 31-year-old son of Salvadoran immigrants could give Latinos a say – even in North Carolina, even in part of Donald Trump’s America.
But this is a story about waiting – and about the detours on the path to power.
The coronavirus upended the Democrat’s campaign for statehouse. Hurtado stopped door-knocking. The closest he came to potential voters was standing 6 feet or more away while volunteering at food banks or a virus testing site. And, still, he contracted the virus himself.
Across the U.S., the coronavirus outbreak is disrupting Latinos’ difficult climb up the political ladder. The disease has disproportionately sickened Latinos and impeded voter registration