New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres made history Tuesday (November 3) night by winning his race to become the first openly gay, Afro-Latino person elected to Congress. In a heavily Democratic district, Torres competed against 12 candidates in the Democratic primary. And on election night, the New York Times projected Torres as the winner over Republican Patrick Delices by a wide margin.
"It’s an honor to be heading to Washington to help fight against the intolerance that many in the LGBTQ+ community face because of who we choose to love. In me, you have an unrelenting fighter for the equality and fairness that every single American deserves. Representation matters, and this campaign proved that," said the congressman-elect in a statement obtained by BET.com to supporters.
"I'm so proud of our historic win. And as a kid from the Bronx who grew up poor, it’s the honor of my life to fight for working families and tackle the issues that matter to everyday people. There's a lot to get done. We’re in the throes of an out-of-control pandemic, the gap between the haves and the have nots is widening, and marginalized communities have been severely hurt by backward, often racist and bigoted Republican policies. In the coming months, I will continue to engage with you and ask for your help as we pursue solutions to these significant challenges."
Torres said he would join the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), according to The Hill.
"His victory is a testament to the Hispanic Caucus’ commitment to expanding our Caucus with diverse voices by investing in candidates like Ritchie Torres, who is soon to be the first openly LGBTQ+ Afro- Latino Member of Congress," U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, a California Democrat, said.