Ritchie Torres y Mondaire Jones, two young progressive candidates from New York, became the first two elected openly gay black men as representatives of the National Congress after being declared winners in Tuesday’s elections. Both men will replace retired legislators in their districts.
In these elections, 574 representatives of the LGTB community stood as candidates at different levels -national, state, municipal-, which represents a record number in the country’s history.
Torres, until now a 32-year-old New York City councilor, will represent the 15th congressional district of New York, which until now was represented by Representative José E. Serrano.
The democrat swept New York, taking close to the 88.2% of the vote in a district that includes the Hispanic neighborhood of the Bronx, one of the poorest in the country.
Torres also became the first gay Afro-Latino person elected to Congress Tuesday night. After winning the Democratic primary in June, he was highly favored to win in his district.
“Tonight we made history”, Torres tweeted Tuesday night. “It is the honor of a lifetime to represent the essential district, the Bronx.”he added.
For her part, Mondaire Jones, a 33-year-old Afro-American attorney, will represent the 17th congressional district in the northern suburbs of New York City, occupying the seat of Representative Nita Lowey, the first woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee.
“When I was growing up I never imagined that someone like me could be a candidate for Congress, much less win, because it had never happened before”he said in July to AFP Jones, who grew up poor but attended Stanford and Harvard.
Jones, a progressive candidate with support from the institutional left, was also favored in his district, which covers parts of suburban Westchester and Rockland counties.
Torres and Jones were not the only representatives of the LGTB community to make history on Election Day.
En Delaware, Sarah McBride won her race for the Delaware State Senate, making her the first openly transgender person to be elected to that position in the United States.
An activist for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, McBride, 30, obtained more than 90 percent of the votes, with 7,902, according to the newspaper. The New York Times.
“We have achieved it. We have won the general election”, McBride celebrated through his Twitter account, a victory that he hopes“ shows the children of the LGTBQ community that our democracy is big enough for them too ”.
Finally, he added that “As Delaware continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis, it’s time to get to work investing in policies that will make a difference for our working families”.
As well Stephanie Byers, who won in the Kansas House of Representatives, became the first transgender person of color elected to a state legislature in the country.
With information from agencies