Black LGBT Candidates Win New York Elections

Ritchie Torres (left) and Mondaire Jones (right). Photos via Jones' and Torres' Facebook pages.

New York’s congressional elections produced two victories for LGBT candidates of color.

Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres both won their Democratic party primaries. 

In New York’s 17th congressional district, Jones won with 42% of the vote. Jones, 32, is an attorney who worked in the Justice Department during the Obama administration. 

“Growing up poor, black and gay, I never imagined someone like me could run for Congress, let alone being a leading contender for the nomination,” Jones said in a victory speech Tuesday evening. “Had I been able to look to someone quite like myself, it would’ve been direct evidence that, in fact, things really do get better later in life.”

Torres, 32, won the 15th congressional district primary with 29% of the vote. A New York City Councilman from the Bronx, Torres is on track to become the first LGBT Afro-Latinx member of the United States Congress.

“It would be the honor of my life to represent this borough, it’s my home,” Torres told Spectrum News NY1 Tuesday night. “I would not be here today if not for my mother and South Bronx is full of mothers like mine who have suffered and struggled and sacrificed so that her baby boy can have a better life than she did and the opportunity to represent the essential workers of this borough and the powerful mothers of this borough is the culmination of a dream.”

Both candidates are endorsed by the Victory Fund

Elsewhere, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dominated New York’s 14th district with 69% of the vote, while in the 16th district, longtime incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel was defeated by middle school teacher Jamaal Bowman.


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