Ritchie Torres And Mondaire Jones Will Become The First Openly Gay Black Men To Serve In Congress
The New York politicians made history with their wins on Tuesday.
November 04, 2020 at 2:47 pm
Election day was fraught with controversy and delayed results, but two historic wins were confirmed on Tuesday.
Both Ritchie Torres And Mondaire Jones won their House races in New York, making them both the first Black, openly gay men to serve in Congress. Torres will be the first openly gay Afro-Latino to serve.
Mondaire Jones is set to become the 1st openly gay Black man elected to Congress, and Ritchie Torres the 1st openly gay Afro-Latino.
At least 35 of the record 574 LGBTQ+ candidates have won their respective races so far. pic.twitter.com/wYgKqjGZwE
— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 4, 2020
According to Decision Desk HQ, Jones was officially declared winner in the 17th district after beating opponent Maureen Schulman 54% to 39% with almost 80% of the vote counted.
Torres won in a landslide 88% to 12% victory for the 15th House district, Decision Desk HQ reported.
Both were heavily favored to win their races and are part of a much larger wave of Black LGBTQ+ candidates to win elections this year, according to Out.
In Florida, Shevrin Jones became the first out LGBTQ+ person to be elected to the upper chamber of the state Senate. Kim Jackson made similar history when she won her race for the became the Georgia state Senate, becoming the first LGBTQ+ person elected in the state's history. Michele Reyner also became the first Black queer woman chosen to serve in the Florida House of Representatives, according to Out.
Victory Fund President CEO Annise Parker told The Advocate that Torres' "lived experience as an out LGBTQ Afro-Latinx man will bring an essential perspective to Capitol Hill" as the country "attempts to tackle systemic racism, police reform and healthcare disparities."
“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,” Parker 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,” Parker added.
Tonight, we made history.
It is the honor of a lifetime to represent the essential borough, the Bronx. pic.twitter.com/9ykMiWgYk3
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) November 4, 2020
During a press conference, Torres told reporters that it was "the honor of a lifetime to represent a borough filled with essential workers who have risked their lives so that New York City could live,” according to Queerty.
“The Bronx is essential, and the vibrant, loving and talented people who live here have shown time and again their power, fortune and perseverance. The Bronx is the heartbeat of New York City,” he added.
LGBTQ+ candidates made significant gains nationally and in many state legislatures. Elliot Imse, communications director for the LGBTQ Victory Fund, told them. that while the concern about the presidential race was still causing some worry, the wins down the ballot showed that LGBTQ+ candidates were having success.
“With the presidential race still up in the air, it is admittedly tough to focus on the positive, but it has been a great night for LGBTQ representation — especially in our state legislatures. “There is much left to be decided, and LGBTQ Congressional races in particular are up in the air. But if you’re looking for good news tonight, it is out there,” Imse said.