Robert Garcia of California has been elected as the first out gay immigrant in Congress.
Garcia, currently mayor of Long Beach, has won the U.S. House seat in California’s 42nd Congressional District, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
A Democrat, he bested Republican John Briscoe, a businessman. As of 9:30 p.m. Pacific time, Garcia had 68 percent of the vote and Briscoe 32 percent. Because of redistricting, there was no incumbent in the race.
Garcia, a native of Peru, immigrated to the United States with his family at age 5. He has been mayor of Long Beach since 2014. He was the city’s youngest mayor, the first out gay one, and the first immigrant to hold the office. He was one of several out political leaders featured in the keynote address at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Victory Fund President and CEO Annise Parker issued the following statement: “Robert has a proven track record of delivering real results for his community, from safeguarding abortion rights to championing education and climate policy. Voters were excited and motivated by his vision for the future. With anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice legislation currently moving through Congress, the stakes of this election could not have been higher — and California voters delivered. We are confident Robert’s deep policy experience and ability to build strong, diverse coalitions will make him an exceptional legislator. His win tonight will inspire countless other LGBTQ and first-generation Americans to pursue careers in public service.”