A transgender woman on Tuesday was
elected to the Wheeling, West Virginia City Council, making her the
state's first openly transgender elected official.
Rosemary Ketchum bested three
challengers to capture the city's Third Ward seat.
Ketchum was endorsed by the LGBTQ
Victory Fund, a group that supports LGBT candidates.
“Rosemary has shattered a lavender
ceiling in West Virginia and will join the growing number of out
trans elected officials serving nationwide,” Annise Parker,
president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement.
“Trans people are severely underrepresented in elected office –
with just 26 out trans officials anywhere in the country – so
Rosemary’s victory will resonate well beyond her state.”
“We know Rosemary’s race will
inspire other trans people from conservative states to consider a run
for office in their communities – and then those candidates will
inspire others as well. That virtuous cycle is the key to building
trans acceptance and political power long-term,” she said.
Ketchum will take her seat on the
council next month.
According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund,
there will be just four out LGBTQ elected officials in West Virginia
when Ketchum takes office.