Ritchie-Torres Ritchie Torres attends the 2016 GMHC Spring Gala dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street on March 21, 2016 in New York City.
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

“We made history. It is the honor of a lifetime to represent the essential borough, The Bronx,” Ritchie Torres tweeted.

With more than 80% of the votes, Democrat Ritchie Torres of New York made history, becoming one of two openly gay Black men elected to the House of Congress. Torres is joined by Mondaire Jones who won New York’s 17th Congressional District.

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Torres, a 32-year-old Afro-Latino and former city councilman, will now be representing New York’s 15th Congressional District. 

“Thank you,” Rep. Torres tweeted last night. “Tonight, we made history. It is the honor of a lifetime to represent the essential borough, The Bronx.” He’s also proud to “represent a borough filled with essential workers who risked their lives so that New York City could live” during the pandemic.

The New York University alumnus and East Bronx native received 136,471 votes against his opponent, Republican Patrick Delices, yet more ballots are still being counted. 

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“Whether it’s housing or food insecurity, poverty, or inequality, the struggles of the South Bronx are not academic to me. These are struggles I’ve lived in my own life,” Torres told The Americano earlier this week. “My story is the story of The Bronx. It’s a story of struggle. But it’s also a story of overcoming. And that’s the story of America.”

Aside from addressing mental health issues and socioeconomic matters as his platform, Torres, whose father is Puerto Rican and mother is African American, will also be taking on injustices within local authorities.

“Police departments across the country cannot be trusted to police themselves,” Torres told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” earlier this year. “There has to be an independent system for investigating, punishing, and, if necessary, prosecuting police misconduct.”

Several organizations lauded his win, including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund.