New York’s third Congressional District has a new gay elected congressman, but the victory is a feather in the cap of Republicans, not Democrats.It was the first time two openly gay congressional candidates faced off in a general election.
Republican George Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman and turned the seat from blue to red.Santos is expected to succeed Tom Suozzi, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for governor last year.He will also become the first openly LGBTQ+ Republican elected to Congress and serving.
This distinction comes when Republicans and right-wing conservatives have vilified LGBTQ+ communities and people nationwide.Arizona’s former Rep.
Jim Kolbe and Wisconsin’s former Rep. Steve Gunderson both came out or were forced to come out after they had already been elected to Republican positions.As far as Santos is concerned, his identity and politics are not in conflict.“As a lifelong Republican, I have never experienced discrimination in the Republican Party,” he told NBC News in September. “I am an openly gay candidate.