Latino Pride Lost In Far-Right Republican Mark Cisneros

For the last few years, I have partnered with different organizations in my attempt to inform the Latino community in Iowa about the political process.

The best tool I have is my Spanish podcast, Que Pasa Iowa? From the complex changes to the caucus process this year to interviewing local and presidential candidates, Que Pasa Iowa? affords me the opportunity to ask questions that impact Latinos and all Iowans.

In January, I interviewed Mark Cisneros, who now is the Republican candidate in Muscatine’s Iowa’s House District 91. He is running against Democrat Kelcey Brackett, a local city councilman.

I received some unpleasant comments for inviting someone from the Republican Party. There are folks that fail to understand that as a media outlet, my job is to be as inclusive as possible, and that means inviting persons with different views than mine.

In this instance, I found it difficult to understand how the son of first-generation immigrants from Mexico would not only justify, but applaud, President Trump’s position and actions against our communities.

Don’t take me wrong, I respect people’s party preferences. I know Republican Latinos who do not support Donald Trump because they have been offended and outraged by the way the President has referred to our communities and have watched in dismay his mishandling of everything that it is important to us, namely the pandemic. The Trump Administration caged small children at the border — some of whom lost their lives — and violated the human rights of refugees, among many other efforts to diminish and hurt our communities. I find this to be a contradiction for a father of six and a pro-life person.

In March, I learned Cisneros is running for House District 91 as a Republican candidate after Rep. Gary Carlson’s decision to not seek re-election this fall. Muscatine contains many Latino voters.

Advertise on Iowa Starting Line

From my interview on Que Pasa Iowa? and everything I have learned about Cisneros indicates he is far more extreme than Rep. Carlson. His Facebook page depicts his beliefs and what he supports. There is little original or personal content. His likes and memes include pro-confederate flag groups, extreme conservatives like Tucker Carlson and Brad Parscale, the American Firearms Coalition, The Closet on the Right, and of course, his devotion to President Trump.

Some of Cisnero’s Facebook page likes

Cisneros said he moved to Iowa in 2008 from Los Angeles, and with his wife owns two retail consignment stores.

Like many candidates, his website lists a brief bio and volunteer work and his stance on issue such as lowering taxes, the Second Amendment, right to life, etc. Additionally, he said he supports public, Christian, independent, and homeschool families. On the business side, he wants to reduce “red tape and regulations that handcuff these businesses and reduce the tax burdens on these job creators.” This language is the same used by his party, a cut and paste if you will.

There is virtually nothing on his site that speaks of his Mexican family, which I find surprising. I wonder how his parents migrated to this country.

In a statement he promised to be a voice for the voiceless. Who are the voiceless around him? Statistically, as I mentioned, many are immigrants like his parents, working in the agricultural industry in Iowa, some of whom died due to the president’s negligence during the coronavirus pandemic. Many Muscatine Latinos worked at the Columbus Junction plant that infected hundreds. Those are the voiceless member of his district and Iowa. Many more are living in poverty and in fear. Will he be the voice for them? My guess is no.

Being proud of one’s history and roots is something Democrats and Republicans have in common. Latino pride is also something that runs deep in our community.

Cisneros also promised to listen and respect all his constituents regardless of their political views, but his social media tells a different story. In my opinion, Cisneros will not be able to listen to anyone but his fear-mongering base.

Our Iowa history should not include Cisneros as the first Latino member of the Iowa Legislature. It would not only be a shame, but a disservice to all Iowans.

Please, vote.


By Claudia Thrane
Posted 10/16/20

Iowa Starting Line is an independently owned progressive news outlet devoted to providing unique, insightful coverage on Iowa news and politics. We need reader support to continue operating — please donate here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more coverage.

5 Comments on "Latino Pride Lost In Far-Right Republican Mark Cisneros"

  • This proud Latino doesn’t consider Cisneros an extremist. I know lots of people from my church who homeschool and have lots of respect for them. The author of this article is both condescending and racist.

  • Years ago I started learning, sometimes with chagrin, that there can be political candidates who look a lot like me and who are the same sex and age as me and who have similar backgrounds to mine, but who have very different values and priorities, and who tend to support what I oppose and oppose what I support. That’s why I vote according to what I think candidates will do when they’re in office, not according to who they are. And for better or worse, now that the political parties have moved so far apart on so many issues, it has become easier to predict what people will do if they’re elected.

  • I see his ad on tv daily. What a bigot calling his opponent a Godless man. Kelsey Brackett, hi opponent has done wonderful things for his community. He doesn’t mention his accomplishments. Guess his core belief is bigotry and Muscatine has enough of that.

  • Claudia starts her article with “I received some unpleasant comments for inviting someone from the Republican Party. There are folks that fail to understand that as a media outlet, my job is to be as inclusive as possible, and that means inviting persons with different views than mine.” She goes on then, not to report the results of the interview but to start a rant on all things anti-Trump. Somehow, Claudia misses her own point of being an “Inclusive” media outlet. After interviewing Cisneros, none of the interview or Cisneros’ views are reported. She simply concludes ” In my opinion, Cisneros will not be able to listen to anyone but his fear-mongering base.”

    Guess I am part of that fear-mongering base… really would have preferred to hear what Cisneros had to say (he ran for office and won) rather than some leftist that only seems to know how to disparage others and may not have the courage that Cisneros displayed by putting himself on the line and running for the House.

  • Latinos, along with every american are free to have there own opinion and vote for whoever they want, democrat or republican. I have met representative Cisneros in person at the capitol and he is a great person who holds christian values. He stands up for the freedom to home school which I appreciate since i am home schooled. If you are ever in doubt about what your state representatives and senators stand for I encourage you to go to the Iowa state capitol and meet them yourself. They are always more than happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *