Democrat Party’s Ritchie Torres has made history by becoming the first openly gay Black man elected to the US Congress.
Torres, 32, a New York City Council Member, won the election from New York's 15th Congressional District, defeating Republican Patrick Delices to become the next representative, New York Daily News reported.
“Tonight, a new era begins for the South Bronx,” Torres said in a statement. "It is the honour of a lifetime to represent a borough filled with essential workers who have risked their lives so that New York City could live.
“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 said.
Torres, who identified himself as an Afro-Latino, has served in the City Council since 2013.
He defeated nearly a dozen other Democrats in the June primary after Republican Jose Serrano announced his retirement earlier this year.
Torres is expected to be joined by another Black gay man, Mondaire Jones, in the US House of Representatives as results were pending in the race to replace retiring Republican Nita Lowey from Westchester county.
The seat is expected to go to 33-year-old Jones, a Harvard Law School graduate and former Westchester County attorney, who was leading Republican Maureen McArdle Schulman as of midnight, the report said.
Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston and the president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a group that endorsed both Torres and Jones, applauded the pair.
“Mondaire and Ritchie have shattered a rainbow ceiling and will bring unique perspectives based on lived experiences never before represented in the US Congress,” Parker said in a statement.
“As our nation grapples with racism, police brutality and a pandemic that disproportionately affects people of colour and LGBTQ people, these are the voices that can pull us from the brink and toward a more united and fair society.”