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Openly transgender candidates nationwide, and in Pa. make history

November 8, 2017

Several candidates across the nation made history Tuesday night.

The thing they all had in common? They are transgender.

Voters selected them for races for Erie school board, a Virginia state legislative seat and city council seats in Palm Springs, Calif., and Minneapolis.

Tyler Titus, 33, became the first openly transgender person to be elected to public office in Pennsylvania with a win for Erie School District director, the Erie Times-News reported from an announcement by Victory Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based political action committee that advocates for LGBTQ candidates. Titus, a transgender male, received 18 percent of the vote after a successful Democratic write-in campaign in May, the news outlet reported.

Former newspaper reporter and Democrat Danica Roem defeated a longtime Republican delegate in Virginia’s statehouse, several news outlets reported. Roem, 33, a transgender female, became the first openly transgender person elected to a state-level legislative seat.

In Palm Springs, Calif., and Minneapolis, city council seats were claimed by Lisa Middleton and Andrea Jenkins, both transgender women, according to news outlets. Middleton took about 30 percent of the vote, The Desert Sun reported.e_SClBJenkins won about 73 percent of the vote, the Washington Post reported.

“I’m really proud to have achieved that status, and I look forward to more trans people joining me in elected office, and all other kinds of leadership roles in our society,” Jenkins told the Post after her win.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@tribweb.com or via Twitter @byrenatta.