Hispanic Heritage Month: Politics

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

The Hispanic/Latino population of Arizona makes up 24 percent of registered voters. They are a rising political force in the state. Their activism and voting bloc helped rid Arizona of racist politicians like Joe Arpaio and Russell Pearce. They will be influential in November’s Presidential election. Hispanics as a political force have come a long way from the early days of United States history.

  Many Latinos now serve in the national and state legislatures. They are mayors of major cities and governors of states. This is true in the Copper Corridor where some of our local Latino politicians have been successful and have made positive impacts on state and county government. One of our local Latino politicians who has been successful is Pete Rios. 

  Pete Rios is the Pinal County Supervisor for District 1. He grew up in the copper mining area of Hayden-Winkelman. He attended Arizona State University, working his way through school while supporting his family. He has a B.A. degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Social Service Administration from ASU. Following graduation, he went to work in social services with an emphasis in providing services for children and families. He was Children’s Adoption Coordinator for the State of Arizona from 1978 to 1980. While at ASU, Pete became interested in politics. He was selected and served an internship in the State Senate. It gave him an inside view of what senators do and how they do it. Pete felt he could do it also.

  Two of his mentors in politics also came from the Copper Corridor area. One was Alfredo Gutierrez. Alfredo came from the mining town of Miami. He served 14 years in the Arizona Senate. He is an immigration activist and fought for justice against Senate Bill 1070 when it was being enforced in Arizona. Pete said he learned a lot from Alfredo. Another mentor was the late Joe Ruiz, who was a Justice of the Peace for many years in Mammoth.

  “Joe knew a lot of people around the county,” Pete said. “He told me who to talk to and said if they like you, they can help you. I guess a lot of people liked me because they helped me.”

  Supervisor Rios served 20 years in the State Senate and four years as a State Representative.  In 1991, he was elected President of the Arizona State Senate, the first and only Latino Senate President in the history of Arizona. He has served 12 years as Supervisor of District 1 in Pinal County and is up for re-election.

  Congratulations on a great career in politics and for the good work you are doing in making Pinal County a better place to live.       

Author: John Hernandez

Pinal County Supervisor Pete Rios has had a long career in politics.

John Hernandez (779 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Oracle School District Extends Online Learning For Now

    November 30th, 2020
    by

    Oracle Elementary School District Community, Last week, our Governing Board approved the District’s recommendation to continue distance learning at Mountain […]


    Kenneth Andrew Guyton

    November 30th, 2020
    by

      Kenneth Andrew Guyton was born in Tucson Sept. 6, 1966. Oracle was his home from April 1967 until he […]


    Delays on State Route 77 in Winkelman to begin Nov. 30

    November 30th, 2020
    by

    Motorists who use the Gila River Bridge on State Route 77 in Winkelman should expect intermittent delays starting Tuesday, Dec. […]


    Juanita Sharae Church

    November 30th, 2020
    by

      Juanita Sharae Church was born May 16, 1971 in Page, Arizona to loving parents, Richard Church and Alva Evans.  […]


  • Additional Stories

    Mayor and Councilwoman recognized for many years of service

    November 30th, 2020
    by

      At the Nov. 16 meeting of the Kearny Town Council, Mayor Debra Sommers and Councilwoman Sheila Stephenson were recognized […]


    Kearny Vet honored at Norm’s IGA

    November 30th, 2020
    by

      He served his country, answering the call when the nation needed him. George Armenta, who is now 90 years […]


    HWUSD getting a makeover

    November 18th, 2020
    by

      The Hayden High School and Leonor Hambly K-8 Elementary School classrooms are getting a new look with the old […]


    Hayden cancels winter sports season

    November 18th, 2020
    by

      The Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District announced last week that it will continue distance learning online through the end of […]


  • Copperarea

  • Southeast Valley Ledger