New York’s redistricting was quite a messy process and out of that chaos the Empire State sent a gay Republican to Congress.

George Santos won the election for New York’s Third Congressional District, defeating Democrat Robert Zimmerman in a campaign that featured two gay men competing for federal office for the first time. Santos got 142,472 votes (52%) to 120,737 (44%) for Zimmerman in a district that spans Long Island from Northeast Queens to the north shore of Nassau County.

“There is so much work to be done,” the 34-year-old businessman said in a post-election statement. “The American Dream is still in danger under the Biden Administration, and people deserve not only a representative, but a champion and partner in Congress to mitigate the back-breaking inflation and to make our communities safe.”

Redistricting cost Democrats two gay representatives as Mondaire Jones lost in the primary for Congressional District 10 and Sean Patrick Maloney was narrowly defeated in the general election for the Congressional District 17 seat. Maloney, a five-term Congressman, chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

Ritchie Torres, a gay Congressman from the Bronx, was the bright spot, cruising to re-election in Congressional District 15 with 75% of the vote.

Overall, Republicans flipped four seats in the New York delegation, but Democrats still hold a 15 to 11 advantage. 

Meanwhile, Santos becomes only the third gay Republican to serve in Congress, following former Reps. Jim Kolbe of Arizona and Steve Gunderson of Illinois. Santos is the first Republican to be out at the time of his election.

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