CLEVELAND - In the 2010 U.S. Census, Ohio grew by a slight 183,364 people, but that same census showed that Latinos accounted for 137,551 of that jump.
As their numbers grow, so too does their political clout. That's why candidates for various offices made their way to La Sagrada Familia Church on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland Thursday night to make their case to this growing voting block.
"We need to make sure that Ohio is place that welcomes people," said Ohio House Minority Leader Armond Budish, in making his case for Democrats running for the legislature. "That's the way we create jobs, that's the way we build the economy."
Congresswoman Marcie Kaptur also came. Her new district stretching from Cleveland to Toledo encompasses a large number of Latinos.
"I have represented many people of Hispanic and Latin heritage," she said. "Certainly in the rural areas that I represented as well as the urban communities, but with the addition of the city of Lorain and the west side of Cleveland we add more jewels to the crown," she said.
The forum was sponsored by the Hispanic Roundtable. Candidates getting the most time were those representing the candidates for president and both camps sent into Ohio prominent members of the Latino community to speak on their behalf.
The Romney camp called former Chief of the Small Business Administration under President Bush Hector Barreto, who assured the audience Mitt Romney is committed to comprehensive immigration reform.
"He will work with Democrats, Independents, whoever he needs to to get this passed he will not make a promise and not keep it," Barreto said.
The Obama camp set in the DNC's Senior Advisor for Hispanic Affairs Juan Sepulveda. He said the high powered push a clear sign of how crucial they view this state.
"The Latino vote here is going to be critical," said Sepulveda. "I think our numbers show that probably over 150,000 Latinos who have registered, make up about two percent of the electorate and we know in a state like this that's a key battleground state with a really tight race those numbers could be the numbers that we need to kind of get the president reelected."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Ohioans would only be required to display one license plate on their vehicles instead of two if a bill proposed by two state legislators is approved.
Ohio Republicans want to force universities to offer in-state tuition to out-of-state students who request documents from the schools in order to register to vote in Ohio.
An Akron man was sentenced to more than three years in prison and ordered to pay more than $15 million in restitution for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme.