Human Rights Campaign’s Impact on New York’s Primary Election

by Lucas Acosta

The strength of our movement and our allies beat back the politics of hate and division and proved that if you stand against our community, we’ll defeat you at the ballot box.

Today, the Human Rights Campaign highlighted its investments in the New York Primaries, specifically in two races: NY-15 and NY-17.

In a highly unusual step for the organization, HRC invested in both of these races including a 5-figure digital ad buy in NY-15. NYC Council Member Ritchie Torres declared victory in the race for NY-15 and is poised to become the first openly LGBTQ Afro-Latino Member of Congress in history. So too, Mondaire Jones in NY-17 has won his race by more than double digits and is poised to be the first openly LGBTQ Black Member of Congress.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the amazing accomplishments of these two new LGBTQ BIPOC Members of Congress,” said Alphonso David, HRC President. “In both of these districts, Equality Voters, and equality focused candidates won the day. The strength of our movement and our allies beat back the politics of hate and division and proved that if you stand against our community, we’ll defeat you at the ballot box. Donald Trump and Mike Pence will soon learn that lesson.”

“The support of the Human Rights Campaign helped us elevate the message of what was at stake in the race: ensuring a homophobic, Trump-Republican who opposes equal rights for LGBTQ Americans did not win in the bluest district in the country,” said NY-15 Democratic Nominee Ritchie Torres. “HRC’s mission to support candidates who will fight for federal non-discrimination protections and against the Trump agend resonated with voters, and that support helped us defeat the politics of hate.”

“On the cusp of making history as the nation’s first openly gay, black member of Congress, I couldn’t be more grateful to the Human Rights Campaign for supporting my campaign in the Democratic Primary,” said NY-17 Democratic Nominee Mondaire Jones. “Growing up poor, black, and gay, I never imagined someone like me could run for Congress and win. With the help of HRC, I not only defied people’s expectations, but also inspired LGBTQ people of color to embrace who they are and — hopefully — join me in Congress one day.”

HRC’s involvement in NY-15 was prompted by the real possibility Rev. Ruben Díaz, Sr. a virulently anti-LGBTQ politician, could win the Democratic nomination. After a series of public polls showed Díaz, Sr. with a lead, HRC endorsed Ritchie Torres and invested a five figure digital ad buy targeting over 40,000 Equality Voters and HRC members and supporters in the district. The video focused on Díaz, Sr.’s horrifically anti-LGBTQ record including comments where he said he was  “proud to be homophobic.” Díaz, Sr. also sued the state of New York over marriage equality, called gay men “sons of devils” and said New York had “no morals” after supporting transgender rights. In 1994, when the Gay Games were coming to New York City, Diaz Sr. claimed that they would increase the spread of AIDS.

A testament to our work alongside our partners, the tide turned in favor of our endorsed candidates. In the end, both candidates won by double digits: results unforeseen by public polling.

 

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.