Equality PAC Makes Its First Non-Incumbent Candidate Endorsements of the 2020 Election Cycle

Date: June 27, 2019
Contact: Jeff Larivee, (202) 821-5203

Equality PAC Makes Its First Non-Incumbent Candidate Endorsements of the 2020 Election Cycle:

Gina Ortiz Jones (TX-23) and Ritchie Torres (NY-15)

Washington, DC – Today, Equality PAC, the political action committee founded by leaders of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and Chaired by Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01) and Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), announced its first non -incumbent candidate endorsements of the 2020 election cycle: Gina Ortiz Jones in Republican-held TX-23 and Ritchie Torres in Democratic open seat NY-15.

“Gina Ortiz Jones has never been one to back down from a fight – and she is exactly the kind of candidate we need to continue building on our Pro- Equality Majority in the House”, saidEqualityPAC Co-Chair David Cicilline.“Last cycle, Gina was Equality PAC’s very first non-incumbentendorsement – and we are proud to endorse her again today as a sign of how much faith we have in her and her campaign for Congress. Without question, Equality PAC will be all-in on this race.”

After a razor-thin loss by only 926 votes against Republican Congressman Will Hurd in 2018, Gina Ortiz Jones officially announced her second bid for this seat last month – and the race immediately became one of the top pick-up opportunities for House Democrats in 2020. A former Air Force intelligence officer, Ortiz Jones has dedicated her career to keeping our country safe. After serving in the Air Force, which included a deployment to Iraq, Ortiz Jones joined the Defense Department under former President Obama and ultimately served as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Director. Texas’

23rd Congressional District includes part of San Antonio and the longest stretch of U.S.-Mexico border of any congressional territory. Before Hurd came into office, the district had frequently flipped between GOP and Democratic control and Clinton won here by 3.5 points in 2018.

“As the first openly LGBT elected official from the Bronx and the only Afro-Latino elected official in New York State, New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres is used to making history – and he’s poised to make history once more as the first LGBT Member of Congress from New York City… and the first Afro-Latino LGBT Member of Congress”, saidEquality PAC Co-Chair Mark Takano. “Equality PAC is proud to jump into this open Democratic seat race early – and to be the first LGBT and national organization to endorse Ritchie.”

New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres is running in the Bronx-based NY-15 Democratic open seat. Ritchie is the youngest member of the City Council and a rising star in City politics. When elected, Ritchie would be the first Black LGBT member of Congress, the first Latino LGBT member of Congress, and the first LGBT member of Congress from New York City delegation. He is one of the New York City Council’s most prolific legislators, enacting thirty laws on the subjects of criminal justice, education, good government, housing, and workforce development. Ritchie’s top opponent in the Democratic primary is fellow Councilmember Ruben Diaz, Sr. – who publicly equated being gay to “having sex with animals”, has said that LGBTQ+ athletes were “likely infected with AIDS”, and who just this year claimed the New York City Council is “controlled by the homosexual community”.