An openly gay councilman from the Bronx is leading a 12-person field of Democrats in Tuesday's primary to replace outgoing U.S. House Representative José E. Serrano, who announced last year that he was fighting a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease and would not seek re-election.

While absentee ballots are still being counted, Ritchie Torres was leading the pack with 30.4 percent of the vote. Ruben Diaz, Sr., a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, was trailing in third place with 14.8 percent.

The winner of Tuesday's Democratic primary will face Orlando Molina, a Republican who ran uncontested, in the fall.

As he left an election night event, Diaz refused to speak with NY1's Juan Manuel Benitez, telling the reporter – and by extension the news outlet – that he was “bad.”

“It would be the honor of my life to represent [the South Bronx]. It's my home,” Torres, who is Afro-Latino, told NY1. “And I would not be here today were it not for my mother. And South Bronx is full of mothers like mine who have suffered and struggled and sacrificed so that her baby boy could have a better life than she did. And the opportunity to represent the essential workers of this borough, to represent the powerful mothers of this borough; it's the culmination of a dream.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, congratulated Torres in a statement.

“Ritchie Torres has always been a change-maker, a rare elected official with both the vision and skill to move a community forward – and that's exactly what he’s done again,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “While all the votes are yet to be counted, voters in New York clearly embraced an inclusive future and a leader with a vision to make positive change.”

“These potential results are also a major win for the progressive movement. The National Organization for Marriage’s endorsed candidate, Rev. Rubén Díaz, Sr., represents an antiquated, biased philosophy of the past, not the future of the Democratic Party or our nation,” he added, referring to the nation's largest group opposed to marriage equality. (Since the legalization of same-sex marriage, NOM has widened its agenda to oppose LGBT rights in general.)

Diaz, a 77-year-old Pentecostal minister, was leading in the polls. Last year, out Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for Díaz's resignation after he claimed that the Council was “controlled by the homosexual community.”

In 2016, Torres was a delegate for the Bernie Sanders campaign.