New York City Adds Three Out City Council Members
BY Michelle Garcia
September 11 2013 6:43 PM ET
Last night's election in New York City increased the number of out politicians on the City Council, including a race to replace lesbian Council speaker Christine Quinn.
Corey Johnson, who is gay, won district 3 with 63% of the vote over lesbian civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland, Gay City News reports. Johnson, an LGBT activist, has served on community board 4, which is in his new district. He will preside over Quinn's current district, which includes Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, and the West Village, when the new term begins.
Becoming Brooklyn's first openly gay councilmember as well as the city's first Mexican-American councilmember, Carlos Menchaca unseated 10-year incumbent Sara González with 58% of the vote in district 38. Menchaca previously worked for Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, and also worked on Quinn's staff focused on LGBT and HIV issues.
The Bronx's Ritchie Torres, 25, beat five other candidates with 36% of the vote in district 15, also making him the borough's first out official. Torres was an aide to councilman James Vacca and was endorsed by Bronx borough president Rubén Díaz Jr., the gay-friendly son of a conservative, antigay Democrat, state senator Rubén Díaz Sr.
Meanwhile in Manhattan, Lower East Side councilmember Rosie Mendez of district 2 won a primary challenge with 80% of the vote against Rev. Richard Del Rio of Abounding Grace Church.
Mendez, Torres, Johnson, and Menchaca were all backed by the Victory Fund, as were Quinn, who lost her mayoral bid Tuesday, and transgender candidate Mel Wymore. In a race on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Wymore lost 27% to 22% to Helen Rosenthal, with whom he served on a local community board.
With the newly elected members joining Queens Democrats Jimmy van Bramer and Daniel Dromm, the New York City Council will have six out members starting in January.