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July 30, 2013

With Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono choosing Milly Silva to be her running mate as lieutenant governor, she is tapping a New Jersey Latino voter base of about 677,000, according to the Pew Research Hispanic Center.

About 11 percent of New Jersey's eligible voters are Hispanic, the ninth-largest voter share nationally. New Jersey’s population is 18 percent Hispanic, with about 1.6 million residing in the Garden State.

With Silva, whose family hails from Puerto Rico, the Buono campaign is also tapping into the largest Latino group in the state. Of Hispanics who are eligible to vote, 41 percent are of Puerto Rican descent, 12 percent are Dominican, and only five percent are Mexican, with 42 percent from other countries such as Cuba (9 percent.) That’s a very different profile from other states, in which 59 percent are Mexican and only 14 percent are Puerto Rican.

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