Two Transgender Candidates Elected to Minneapolis City Council
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A second transgender candidate has won a spot on the Minneapolis City Council.
Phillipe Cunningham narrowly won a northwestern Minneapolis ward by defeating longtime incumbent and council president Barb Johnson. His victory wasn't announced until Wednesday afternoon, due to the instant-runoff voting system Minneapolis uses.
Cunningham is a 29-year-old transgender man. His victory follows one by Andrea Jenkins, a transgender woman who easily won a seat on the City Council Tuesday night.
It adds to a banner night for transgender people in public office. Danica Roem became the nation's first openly transgender state lawmaker by winning a Virginia Statehouse seat.
Victory Fund, a group that advocated for LGBT candidates, said Jenkins was the nation's first openly transgender woman elected to a major city's governing board.
A black transgender woman who won a seat on the Minneapolis City Council says her election "provides hope" for young transgender people.
Andrea Jenkins tells The Associated Press that she is feeling elation, pride and "a deep sense of responsibility" after easily winning the race for a south Minneapolis seat.
Jenkins calls the election of a black transgender woman "a big deal." She says she was afraid that racism and transphobia would work against her, "and my community absolutely proved me wrong."
Victory Fund, a group that advocates for LGBT candidates, called Jenkins the first openly transgender woman elected to the city council of a major U.S. city.
Jenkins says her victory, and the election in Virginia of Danica Roem as the nation's first openly transgender state lawmaker, shows "People are saying no to hate and yes to love."