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Ritchie Torres to become first openly gay Afro-Latino member of Congress

Ritchie Torres to become first openly gay Afro-Latino member of Congress
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Democratic New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres is projected to become the first openly gay, Afro-Latino member of Congress after winning one of the country's most Democratic-leaning House seats.

The Associated Press called the race at 10 p.m. EST.

Torres, who fought a contested primary against a broad field that included a powerful pro-Trump Democrat, ran virtually unopposed in Tuesday's general election.

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New York's 15th District is rated by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index as a D+44, making it the most Democratic district in America.

With the seat open following the retirement announcement of Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), Torres warned national Democrats that the leading Democratic candidate to replace Serrano was Rev. Rubén Díaz Sr., a pro-Trump, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage candidate.

Still, the safe Democratic seat attracted 13 candidates, including Torres and Díaz.

Torres eventually bested the broad field with more than 30 percent of the vote, followed by Michael Blake with 18 percent and Díaz with 14.4 percent. Torres received the support of Bold PAC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's (CHC) campaign arm.

“In a crowded primary field, Ritchie Torres was the clear standout candidate as the youngest Latino elected to the NYC Council, the son of a single working mother from the Bronx and a champion for the essential workers of New York City," said Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), chairman of Bold PAC.

Torres has vowed to join the CHC as well as the Congressional Black Caucus and the Bold PAC, a campaign group that's substantially grown in reach and fundraising under Cárdenas.

"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," Cárdenas added.