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It took six weeks of counting, but the results are officially in and Councilman Ritchie Torres has been declared the winner of the Democratic primary to represent New York's 15congressional district. His opponent was the homophobic and transphobic Trump supporter Ruben Diaz, Sr. Ritchie Torres, who is Afro-Latinx, is expected to win the seat in November's general election.
"We won!" a jubilant Torres declared in a series of tweets to his followers yesterday. "It is the honor of a lifetime to be able to serve our community in Washington DC."
\u201cIt\u2019s official. We won! It is the honor of a lifetime to be able to serve our community in Washington DC. The counting took longer than expected, but today the @BOENYC certified our victory & I want to say thank you..\u201d— Ritchie Torres (@Ritchie Torres) 1596580349
The primary election was held June 23, but the increased use of mail-in ballots substantially slowed the process. Officials in the Election Board received over 400,000 absentee ballots, a ten-fold increase from previous elections. While officials certified the vote, they have yet to release updated totals of the votes counted. The Associated Press has chosen not to declare election results at this time.
After noting the Election Board "took longer than expected" to tally the final results, Torres was looking ahead to representing his district in the nation's capital.
"To all the Bronx Democrats who put their trust in me and to all the residents, activists, advocates & union members all across the city who helped along the way," he said. "We still have the general election to win in November, but I'm ready to get to work. It's governing that matters. I will fight day and night for the essential workers of the Bronx."
"Black LGBTQ people - like all LGBTQ people - are severely underrepresented at every level of government, but this gives hope that we are moving toward building a U.S. Congress that is more representative of the people it serves," Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement in June about Torres' run. Torres is joined by Mondaire Jones as the two are set to make history as Black gay congressmen if elected in November. Both are expected to win.
Torres now faces three opponents in the November general election. In addition to Republican candidate Orlando Molina, Patrick Delices (Conservative Party) and Kenneth Schaeffer (Working Families Party) are also on the ballot.
"It would be the honor of my life to represent this borough," he told Spectrum News earlier. "It's my home."