The transgender community now has something to celebrate, as they are officially represented in elected offices across the United States. Here is a look at seven historic candidates who won their elections.
Danica Roem - Virginia (House of Delegates)
Roem defeated 13-term Republican Incumbent Bob Marshall in what was one of the most brutal campaigns involving a transgender candidate this year. Marshall, who openly call shimself Virginia’s chief homophobe, resorted to anti-transgender propaganda in both his fundraising and campaign tactics. Marshall was the delegate who introduced the “Physical Privacy Act” which was an anti-transgender restroom bill. Roem stood up to Marshall and soundly defeated him by a margin of 53.94% to 45.66% (0.40% were write ins). She becomes the frst transgender person to win a state legislature seat.
Andrea Jenkins - Minnesota (Minneapolis City Council)
Jenkins became the first openly transgender woman of color to be elected to public office in the United States ad she won Minnesota’s Ward 8 City Council seat. She received over 73% of the vote, defeating second place candidate Terry White by an overwhelming margin of 60.3%. Jenkins previously served as a policy aide for Ward 8 Council Member Elizabeth Glidden for 12 years, and is a well-known historian, artist, and transgender activist.
Phillipe Cunningham - Minnesota (Minneapolis City Council)
Cunningham became Minnesota’s second transgender city council member on Wednesday after winning the Ward 4 race in a runoff against Incumbent Barb Johnson who failed to receive 50% of the vote. Cunningham was a senior policy aide for Mayor Betsy Hodges and former youth development professional.
Lisa Middleton - California (Palm Springs City Council)
Lisa Middleton also made history in Palm Springs as she became the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in the state of California. Middleton (65), received 30% of the overall vote to win her race. She previously worked as an auditor at the State Compensation Insurance Fund for 36 years. She came out as transgender in 1995.
Stephe Koontz - Georgia (Doraville City Council)
Koontz narrowly defeated her opponent Lee Flier in Doraville’s District 3 race, winning by a margin of 350-344. She becomes her city’s first openly transgender elected official. Koontz (58), is a small business owner and church administrator.
Gerri Cannon - New Hampshire (Somersworth School Board)
Cannon was elected to the Somersworth School board on Tuesday by receiving 19% of the overall vote. She is a transgender activist and aspires to one day run for New Hampshire State Representative.
Tyler Titus - Pennsylvania (Erie School Board)
Titus became the first openly transgender person elected in the state of Pennsylvania. He won a seat on the Erie School board by receiving 18% of the overall vote. Titus (33), is a father of two sons and is a licensed professional counselor who works in public and private schools throughout Erie.