“The community is increasingly aware of their political clout,” said Douglas Carranza, director of the Central American Research and Policy Institute at California State University, Northridge. Rachel Uranga, (818) 713-3741 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Salvadorans across Los Angeles celebrated Sunday’s elections in their homeland, where a half-dozen U.S. citizens ran for office and at least one Californian won. Ramon Cardona, the former executive director of the Central American Resource Center in San Francisco, won the alternate congressional seat to represent the El Salvadoran state of Libertad. While Santa Clarita resident Mario Matute lost his bid for alternate for the territory of San Salvador, officials were still counting votes and will determine by Saturday whether Werner Marroquin of Pomona won a seat on the Central American Parliament, or Parlamento Centroamericano. The election was closely watched in Los Angeles, home to more than 1 million Salvadorans, many of whom fled the country in the 1980s to escape a violent civil war. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “The elections were so important to us,” said Francisco Pineda, vice president of Salvadorans around the World. Pineda, who has lived in Los Angeles for more than 20 years, spent most of Sunday night switching channels to get results. “There is a personal pride as a group that left long ago to have us winning.” The elections marked a shift in political thinking for many in the small country of 6 million, which has now embraced those living abroad. “It’s the first time so many immigrants participated,” said Mauricio Turcios, spokesman for the Tribunal Supremo Electoral. “They bring a vision that is more global and interested in development.” In 2004, Salvadorans in Los Angeles sent $2.5 billion back to their families in El Salvador. Like Mexicans, who this year for the first time gained the right to vote from abroad, they are increasingly pushing to gain political muscle in their homeland. Dozens of Salvadoran political associations have emerged out of older party ties in the Los Angeles area. And groups like the Salvadoran Action Committee founded by Pasadena resident Randy Jurado Etrell are propping up Salvadoran-friendly political candidates to run in the United States.