When the ballots were counted in the Nov. 3 elections, few took note of a modest victory for Latinos in the town of Wilder, Idaho. The small, heavily immigrant farming community near the Oregon border elected its first entirely Hispanic city council.
As national political groups and aspiring presidential candidates boost their efforts to cultivate America’s growing Latino vote, the Latino sweep of top elected positions in the 1,500-resident town of Wilder symbolizes smaller, but perhaps more fundamental changes as the Hispanic population reshapes U.S. demographics.
Prior to the 2015 fall election, two of the four city council members were Hispanic. Outgoing mayor John Bechtel, who has served several terms as mayor and as a city councilman since 1974, declined to seek re-election. Alicia Almazan, who the Idaho Press says will become the town’s first woman mayor, didn’t return calls requesting comment.
Featured image: George Obendorf Gothic Arch Truss Barn near Wilder, Idaho (Ian Poellet)