Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones made history this week by becoming the first two openly gay Black men elected to Congress.
“It is the honor of a lifetime to represent a borough filled with essential workers who have risked their lives so that New York City could live,” Torres said in a statement after his victory.
“The Bronx is my home, it is what made me who I am, and it is what I will fight for in Congress.”
He easily won Tuesday, receiving 88% of the vote in the heavily Democratic district after besting a crowded field of 11 other candidates in the primary earlier this year.
On Wednesday, Torres congratulated Mondaire Jones, a 33-year-old lawyer who is also an openly gay Black man, after he locked up New York’s 17th Congressional District.
Jones won 54.29% of the vote in the 17th district, which covers the suburbs north of New York City, defeating Republican Maureen McArdle Schulman.
“I am humbled by the trust voters in Westchester and Rockland have placed in me, and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community that raised me — the community that just sent an openly gay, Black guy who grew up in Section 8 housing and on food stamps to Congress,” Jones tweeted Wednesday.
Ritchie Torres, Representative-Elect for NY’s 15th Congressional District, and Mondaire Jones, Representative-Elect for NY’s 17th Congressional District.
The victories by Torres and Jones were touted in the LGBTQ community as proof of the progress society has made.
“Mondaire and Ritchie have shattered a rainbow ceiling and will bring unique perspectives based on lived experiences never before represented in the U.S. Congress,” former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, President of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement.
“Their elections will end any doubts about the electability of Black LGBTQ men to our nation’s highest legislative body. It will also inspire more young LGBTQ leaders and leaders of color to run and serve.”
There will be 11 LGBTQ members when the 117th Congress is sworn in next year, a historically high number, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.