US: Oklahoma trans policewoman advances in run for state House
An Oklahoma transgender policewoman has advanced her run for the state’s House of Representatives, surviving tough a Democratic primary.
Paula Sophia, who previously served in the army, joined the Oklahoma City Police Department in 1992, and was at the centre of a high-profile legal battle with the force in 2001 after transitioning to female.
She retired from the force in April to dedicate herself full-time to campaigning for the Democratic nomination.
Sophia survived the first round of a Democratic primary last night, and will face off against businessman and former pastor Jason Dunnington in the August 26 run-off election.
She managed to win 23.6% of the vote, ahead of Mark Faulk and John Gibbons, on 19.4% and 16.4% respectively, but behind Dunnington, on 40.5%.
There is no Republican running in Oklahoma House District 88, meaning that if Sophia can win in the August run-off, she could be the first openly trans member of state congress.
She said previously: “I was a community oriented police officer, now I’m going to be a community oriented legislature.
“I’ve been passionate throughout my entire career in law enforcement about helping people in their day to day lives.
“I have a deep concern about peace and justice, about respecting the dignity of every human being and I still deeply believe in those issues.
“People will talk, you know… I’m not worried about it.”