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LGBT New York City Council candidates

Meet some of the LGBT City Council candidates you’ll find on the ballots at the primary on September 10.

 (Photograph: Carlos Menchaca campaign website)
Photograph: Carlos Menchaca campaign website

The candidate: Carlos Menchaca

Running for: Council District 38, which includes Bay Ridge Towers, Greenwood Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace

The very basics: The widely endorsed Carlos Menchaca is going up against sitting council member Sara Gonzalez in the Democratic primary. He’s worked as an aide for Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz and current council speaker Christine Quinn, for whom he was a liaison on LGBT issues.

Fun fact! If Menchaca wins, he’ll be first Mexican-American City Council member, and the first LGBT representative from a Brooklyn district.

For more information:carlos2013.com

 (Photograph: Courtesy the Corey Johnson campaign)
Photograph: Courtesy the Corey Johnson campaign

The candidate: Corey Johnson

Running for: Council District 3, which includes the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen

The very basics: Johnson is currently the chairman of NYC’s Community Board 4—and the youngest chair of any Community Board in NYC. Past gigs include a stint at GLAAD and a position with real-estate developer GFI Development Company. He’s running against fellow Democrat Yetta Kurland to fill the City Council seat about to be vacated by mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn.

Fun fact! Corey Johnson made national headlines in 2000 when he came out as gay while he was the captain of his high-school football team.

For more information:corey2013.com

 (Photograph: Rosie Mendez campaign website)
Photograph: Rosie Mendez campaign website

The candidate: Rosie Mendez

Running for: Council District 2, which includes the Lower East Side, East Village, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay and Murray Hill

The very basics: Incumbent council member Rosie Mendez joined the City Council in 2006. She chairs the Committee on Public Housing and sits on several other committees. In the Democratic primary, she’s facing a challenge from Richard Del Rio.

Fun fact! Mendez once introduced a bill that would ban the use of wild animals in circuses, which helped her earn a perfect score of 100 from the League of Humane Voters.

For more information:rosiemendez.com

 (Photograph: Ritchie Torres campaign Facebook page)
Photograph: Ritchie Torres campaign Facebook page

The candidate: Ritchie Torres

Running for: Council District 15, which includes West Farms, Belmont, Bathgate, Fordham, East Tremont and Crotona

The very basics: The lifelong Bronxite has held several positions for City Council member James Vacca (District 13). He’s the buzziest (and most endorsed) candidate in a busy field looking to replace longtime council member Joel Rivera, who leaves at the end of this year when his term limit runs out.

Fun fact! Torres got his start in politics at age 16 during a “Community Board District Manager for a day” event at Lehman High School.

For more information:torres2013.com

 (Photograph: Courtesy the Yetta Kurland campaign)
Photograph: Courtesy the Yetta Kurland campaign

The candidate: Yetta Kurland

Running for: Council District 3, which includes the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen

The very basics: Lifelong New Yorker Yetta Kurland is a community activist and senior partner at the Kurland Group, a firm specializing in LGBT issues. In 2009, she challenged Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary, and now is running against Corey Johnson to replace the council speaker and mayoral hopeful. She hosted Yetta Kurland Live! on WWRL until May of this year, when she stepped down to focus on her campaign.

Fun fact! Kurland was a judge at this year’s edition of Murray Hill’s wacky Miss LEZ Pageant.

For more information: yettakurland.com

 (Photograph: Mel Whitmore campaign Facebook page)
Photograph: Mel Whitmore campaign Facebook page

The candidate: Mel Wymore

Running for: Council District 6, which includes the Upper West Side

The very basics: Mel Wymore is part of a crowded field of qualified candidates looking to succeed Manhattan Borough President candidate Gale Brewer in representing the Upper West Side. Wymore has served as the chair for Manhattan Community Board 7, as well as cofounding several community organizations, including Citizens for an Accessible West Side and the West 70th Street Block Association.

Fun fact! If he wins, Wymore would be the first transgender person to hold elected office in New York State.

For more information:melwymore.com

 (Photograph: Cynthia Thompkins campaign Facebook page)
Photograph: Cynthia Thompkins campaign Facebook page

The candidate: Cynthia Thompkins

Running for: Council District 15, which includes West Farms, Belmont, Bathgate, Fordham, East Tremont and Crotona

The very basics: Since moving to NYC in 2000, Pittsburgh native Cynthia Thompkins earned her JD from CUNY School of Law then went on to work as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society. Currently, she’s the president of the Marion Ave Neighborhood Association, a community organization which she founded.

Fun fact! At age 19, Thompkins became one of the country’s first black female police officers.

For more information:cynthiaforchange.com

9/11/13 update! Congratulations to Corey Johnson, Carlos Menchaca, Rosie Mendez and Ritchie Torres, who all won their districts in last night's Democratic primary election. Johnson and Torres will face off against Republican opponents in the general election on November 5; Menchaca and Mendez are running without Republican opposition and are almost certain to win their districts. For polling places, how to register and much more information about voting in NYC, go to the New York City Board of Elections website.