Palm Springs

First transgender person elected to non-judicial office in California

By Troy Masters

November 08, 2017

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History was made across the nation last night as transgender political office seekers broke new ground coast to coast, beginning with the election of Virginia’s Danica Roem, the nation’s first transgender legislator and making it all the way across the country to Palm Springs with the election of Lisa Middleton to that city’s City Council..

Lisa Middleton became the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California with her first place seating on Palm Springs City Council. Christy Holstege, a lesbian, was also elected the City’s council. Equality California endorsed both candidates.

Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement in response to tonight’s victory:

“In light of the repeated attacks on transgender people from the federal government, tonight’s wins by Lisa Middleton in Palm Springs and other transgender candidates in Minneapolis and Virginia are a beacon of hope that voters have embraced values of equality and inclusion. By becoming the first out transgender person to be elected to a non-judicial office in California, Lisa is paving the way for others to follow in her footsteps in California and across the nation. Her first place finish out of a field of 6 candidates demonstrates that a glass ceiling for transgender people who want to serve in elected office was not only broken, but was shattered in Palm Springs.

With the election of Lisa and Christy Holstege, the city of Palm Springs will now be represented by a city council that is 100% LGBTQ. At Equality California, we know that representation matters. That’s why we endorse and work to elect highly qualified LGBTQ candidates at the local level. One of our top organizational goals is to build the bench of LGBTQ elected officials to prepare them to run for higher office. To achieve that in Palm Springs, we spent thousands of dollars in direct contributions, independent expenditures and member-to-member communications in support of both candidates. In 2018, we hope to build on tonight’s success by electing more LGBTQ candidates and pro-equality allies up and down the ballot across California.”

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