Democrat Ritchie Torres of New York made history Tuesday when he was elected as the first openly gay, Afro-Latino member of the House of Representatives. Torres took to Twitter to thank supporters and acknowledge the historic victory.

"It is the honor of a lifetime to represent the essential borough, the Bronx," Torres said.

Torres, 32, won 85% of the votes, defeating Rep. Patrick Delices, a Republican. Torres will represent a district that is located entirely in the Bronx, a borough of New York. 

Torres' father is Puerto Rican and his mother is African-American. Torres' mother worked minimum wage jobs to take care of Torres and his siblings. 

A City Council member, Torres will fill the seat after Democrat Rep. Jose Serrano announced his retirement. Serrano in March 2019 said he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. 

Rep. Tony Cardenas, a California Democrat who heads a congressional Hispanic caucus, praised Torres as a stand out candidate.

“His victory is a testament to the Hispanic Caucus’ commitment to expanding our Caucus with diverse voices by investing in candidates like Ritchie Torres, who is soon to be the first openly LGBTQ+ Afro-Latino Member of Congress,” Cardenas said.

In a profile by the New York Times in July 2019, Torres said that in junior high school he was concerned that if he said he was gay he "would face ostracism, and at worst, face violence."

Torres was first elected to the New York City Council in November 2013, representing the Bronx. He oversaw the New York City Housing Authority and, during his second term, chaired the city’s Oversight and Investigations Committee.

Ritchie Torres of New York becomes first openly gay, Afro-Latino person elected to the U.S. House of Representatives Ritchie Torres of New York becomes first openly gay, Afro-Latino person elected to the U.S. House of Representatives Photo: Torres for Congress