As the Hispanic population continues to grow in the country, so does its political power and that is why one East Tennessee Hispanic voter told 10News it is time politicians take notice.
Over the last two weeks, both major political parties have appealed to Hispanic voters by giving high profile speech time to budding Hispanic politicians at both the Democratic and Republican conventions.
Julian Castro, the democratic mayor of San Antonio gave a speech during the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, of Florida, gave a similar speech to the Republican National Convention last week.
The politicians' speeches come at a time in which the Hispanic population is rapidly growing across the country. According to the Tennessean, the state's Hispanic population doubled between 2000 and 2010 to almost five percent, while during that same time, the number of Hispanic children in all 50 states increased.
Anabel Lino, president of Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, said with growth figures like those Hispanics are very important to the country's political landscape.
"I think our vote counts a lot," she said.
And Lino, a registered voter, said despite Hispanics' historic tendency to vote Republican, it is important that neither party take the group's vote for granted.
"We are always watching either side have to say about the Latino community," she said.
The Knox County Republican Party said it is aware of that. However, Knox County Republican Chair Ray Jenkins said his party is not interested in Hispanics' voting power because of their race.
"We don't necessarily look at segments of the vote like that," he said.
Instead, Jenkins said his party is interested in rallying voters who share their concern for similar issues. He said he believes the region's Hispanics could agree with his party on the issue of unemployment.
"Unemployment nationwide, for example is 8.3 percent," he said. "Among minorities, Hispanics, it's in double digits. It's over 10 percent. So the same issues that affect the majority, affect the minority."
Another major issue for Hispanics, according to Lino, is immigration reform. She said she felt President Barack Obama has not really had a chance to make a lasting impact on that issue.