Ritchie Torres, Mondaire Jones closer to becoming the nation’s first two gay Black Congressmen
History is made during Pride Month, as the expected results from New York’s primary will elect the first-ever gay Black men to Congress in November.
Ballots continue to be counted, but it is clear who the winners are. While final results are not expected until June 30 because of absentee ballots, early results determine Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones will win their primaries, with one already claiming victory.
In a competitive race to replace Congressman Jose Serrano in the Bronx, Ritchie Torres is projected to be the winner of New York’s 15th congressional district
This is a decisive win over opponent Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr., a conservative minister known for making homophobic statements, and who trailed Torres with just 15% of the vote.
Not only will Torres be among the first two gay Black Congressmen, he will also be the first-ever LGBTQ+ Black Latinx Member of Congress.
Councilman @RitchieTorres says it's too early to declare victory in his congressional race, but he does have an early lead. He told @JuanMaBenitez it would be the honor of his life to represent the Bronx. "It's my home." #NY1Politics pic.twitter.com/grY8KfDref
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 24, 2020
“The opportunity to represent the essential workers of this borough, to represent the powerful mothers of this borough, it’s the culmination of a dream,” Torres told NY1. “But we have to count every ballot.”
While Torres says he does not want to declare victory until every vote is counted, he has such an overwhelming lead that the Committee for Hispanic Caucuses - BOLD PAC has also already announced his win.
“While final votes are still being counted, Ritchie's overwhelming support and vote lead in NY-15's primary election make it clear that Ritchie Torres will be the Democratic Party's candidate in this race,” said CHC BOLD PAC chairman Tony Cárdenas in a statement.
“Tonight, voters in the Bronx rejected the agenda of a Trump-sympathizer and instead put their faith in Ritchie, a son of the Bronx and a pragmatic, progressive leader who will bring the fight for New York’s working families to Congress,” Cárdenas continued.
With projected wins for Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman, Torres’ win adds to a growing list of progressives vying for Congress.
Torres will face Republican nominee Orlando Molina on November 3 in the nation’s most Democratic district.
Mondaire Jones solidified an overwhelming lead over his two opponents, up by over 20 points, securing his win for New York’s 17th Congressional District.
Longtime Rep. Nita Lowey’s retirement freed the seat, and given the 17th district’s largely democratic makeup, whoever wins this primary is virtually guaranteed a win in the November general election.
Jones will face conservative candidate Maureen McArdle Schulman in the November 3 General election.
“This will largely be a story of how young people came together,” Jones said in a Facebook Livestream. “I do expect to be the Democratic nominee.”
Congratulations to @MondaireJones on his historic victory.
Your campaign has inspired and energized so many people. I look forward to calling you ‘Congressman’ soon.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 24, 2020
“Congratulations to Mondaire Jones on his historic victory,” tweeted Julian Castro. “Your campaign has inspired and energized so many people. I look forward to calling you ‘Congressman’ soon.”
Backed by AOC, Bernie Sanders, and Julian Castro’s People First Future PAC, Jones’ campaign runs on a platform focused on Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, tuition free-public college, cancellation of student debt, criminal justice reform, and combating climate change through the Green New Deal.
June 23 marked an exciting night for the progressive, Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ movements. With the results expected to hold, Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres are making history.