Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones, two Democrats running for New York City-area U.S. House districts, claimed victory on Tuesday.

Torres becomes the first LGBTQ+ Afro-Latinx person elected to Congress, and Jones joins Torres as one of the two first LGBTQ+ Black candidates elected to the the body. Both are gay men.

Jones, who won in New York’s 17th Congressional District, just north of NYC, is an attorney who most recently worked in Westchester County’s Law Department. 

Torres will represent New York’s 15th Congressional District in the Bronx; he defeated Rubén Díaz Sr, a notorious homophobe in the primary. Torres currently serves on the New York City Council.

The LGBTQ Victory Fund, which works to elect out candidates, released statements on both men’s wins.

“Most would have thought New York City’s first LGBTQ member of Congress would be from Chelsea or Greenwich Village or Hell’s Kitchen, but the Bronx beat them to it,” said Victory Fund President CEO Annise Parker. “As our nation attempts to tackle systemic racism, police reform and healthcare disparities, Ritchie’s lived experience as an out LGBTQ Afro-Latinx man will bring an essential perspective to Capitol Hill. Ritchie’s election gives hope at a time when many Americans desperately need it. He will become a role model for LGBTQ youth in the Bronx and beyond.”

Of Jones, she said, “Mondaire’s victory is a milestone moment in our nation’s politics and his victory will inspire more people of color and LGBTQ people to run for office in their communities. Mondaire has been witness to the injustices faced by Black people, LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities and he ran for Congress to be in a position to address them. He will be a powerful voice for change and his impact will extend well beyond a single vote in the U.S. House.”


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