Poll shows two-way race between Torres and Díaz, but seven progressive candidates are pulling away votes from Torres
Díaz would be among the most anti-LGBTQ members of Congress in the most Democratic seat in the nation
Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, Equality PAC and the Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC called on progressive candidates in the NY-15 Congressional race to rally behind openly LGBTQ candidate Ritchie Torres and prevent anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice candidate Rubén Díaz Sr. from winning the Democratic nomination. Polls show it is a close two-way race between Díaz and Torres – with Torres just two points behind – and seven other progressive candidates with little support peeling off votes from Torres. With the primary approaching on June 23, the most Democratic seat in the U.S. Congress is at risk of being held by a Trump-supporting Democrat if progressive candidates fail to drop out and endorse Torres.
Yesterday’s Data for Progress poll shows Díaz receiving 22 percent of the vote from likely voters and Torres with 20 percent. The next three closest competitors, all progressives, received support from just six percent of likely voters, and four additional progressive candidates each receive two percent or less of the vote. Thirty-four percent of voters remain undecided but the plurality break for Díaz because of the family’s strong name recognition in the district. Seventy-three percent of likely voters in the district find same-sex relationships “morally acceptable.”
For decades, Díaz has actively stigmatized and voted against LGBTQ people and women. Just last year, he claimed the New York City Council was controlled by the “homosexual community,” previously called LGBTQ people “cursed” and actively rallied against marriage equality. He also called New York the “abortion capital of the United States” and voted against pro-choice bills.
When asked about whether Díaz would vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the general election, he responded, “I don’t know yet.” If elected, Díaz would oppose the Equality Act and pro-choice legislation. It is unclear whether he would vote for Speaker Nancy Pelosi or any Democrat for Speaker of the U.S. House.
Statement from Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund
“With less than two weeks to Election Day, the most Democratic Congressional seat in America is at risk of being won by a homophobic, transphobic, anti-choice politician and it is because candidates are choosing ego over constituents. This is a two-way race. The member of Congress from NY-15 will either be a Trump-loving bigot or an LGBTQ progressive, and the progressive candidates in this race play a huge role in determining that outcome. It is time to unite in defeating Rubén Díaz Sr. – next week may be too late.”
Statement from U.S. Representative David Cicilline (RI), Co-Chair of Equality PAC
“Victory for Rubén Díaz Sr. is a victory for Donald Trump and it is certain the president will be gloating about it come June 23rd. We can elect the first LGBTQ Afro-Latinx member of Congress or elect a pro-Trump Democrat who will stand against LGBTQ equality and the right to choose. For the sake of our values and the residents of New York’s 15th District, I call on progressive candidates to unite behind Ritchie. He is our only chance to win.”
Statement from U.S. Representative Mark Takano (CA), Co-Chair of Equality PAC
“Rubén Díaz Sr. is entirely out-of-step with the majority of his would-be constituents and with the entire Democratic House Caucus. If he wins this race, he would be the only Democrat to oppose the Equality Act in the next session. Diaz Sr. is a disgrace to the principles of equality and social justice that both our party and the constituents of NY-15 hold, and we cannot allow him to receive the Democratic nomination by default. We need the equality-minded candidates in this race to unite behind Ritchie and ensure we have a pro-equality vote from NY-15 come November.”
Statement from Brian Romero, President of the Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC
“The residents of New York’s 15th Congressional District are hurting – from the systemic racism they have faced for generations to the violent policing we see on the news every night and the COVID-19 pandemic. The pain is made worse when we elect leaders who are bigoted and divisive. We cannot lose this race, and it is time for progressives to unite behind Ritchie Torres to defeat hate. Join us and let’s win this together.”
About LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government.
About Equality PAC
Equality PAC is dedicated to bringing nearer the full legal and societal equality of LGBTQ people and creating a federal legislative environment conducive to that goal. Equality PAC will support openly LGBTQ candidates running for federal office, as well as strong allies and supporters of the LGBTQ community. We look forward to electing a record number of LGBTQ Americans to Congress this November who will stand with Joe Biden in the ongoing fight for equality and as we continue to seek a more perfect union.
About Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC
The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City was founded in 1986 as the first and only citywide LGBT Democratic organization in New York City. We continue to advocate for legislation that guarantees equality and fairness for the LGBT community in NYC, representing the political ideas, ideals, concerns, and priorities of the LGBT community of New York City and New York State.