Melissa Sue Robinson, a trans woman, is running in the mayoral election for Nampa, Idaho.
Robinson is the founder of civil rights organisation the National Association for the Advancement of Transgendered Persons, which was established in Michigan in 2000.
The association was disbanded in 2007 when Robinson moved to Seattle, although she set up a new, affiliated organisation this year called Idaho Equality which, according to the group’s website, has “the sole purpose of securing LGBT anti-discrimination and hate crimes ordinances and laws in the state of Idaho and various cities within the state.”
According to Nampa’s regulations, Robinson will not be able to file her application until August, but in an email announcement she stated: “I am running because I am progressive and I feel that Nampa is a city that needs progressive people in city government.”
She added: “If elected Nampa mayor or not, I intend to push for a LGBT rights ordinance in both Nampa and Boise in the near future.”
Robinson has a background in telecommunications and has focused much of her campaign on taxes to support public transport and construction ordinances for the city.
She has also said she is aware that her candidacy may provoke some negative responses in the voting public, but plans to stand regardless.
One local news source, the Ridenbaugh Press, described Robinson’s declaration as “provocation rather than substantial candidacy”, adding that she has “not been active in civic life in Nampa, hasn’t been in the city long enough to get to know it [and] evidently lacks relevant experience at Nampa city hall.”
Robinson will be going up against the incumbent mayor Tom Dale in the elections, which are due to take place in November.