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Some activists found reason to welcome Jenner’s announcement, saying it was further evidence that transgender Americans are running for office more frequently.
Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen of the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund noted that in the 2020 election, Sarah McBride of Maryland became the first openly trans person elected to a state Senate seat and Stephanie Byers of Kansas became the first openly trans Native American elected to a state legislature.
In Vermont, Christine Hallquist won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2018, but lost the general election to incumbent Republican Phil Scott.
“Voters want leaders who will deliver results for their communities, no matter who they are,” Heng-Lehtinen said.
Attorney Sasha Buchert, co-director of the Transgender Rights Project at the LGBTQ-rights group Lambda Legal, said when the public sees transgender people in public life it “serves to expand public awareness of the reality and diversity of trans lives.”
“It matters to us what policies candidates support — and what their track record might be — on a full range of issues, not just trans rights and inclusion,” Buchert added. “That is the lens one should always use in evaluating any candidate, including Caitlyn Jenner.”