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A Transgender Longshot in Idaho


In one of the most conservative counties in conservative Idaho, a 58-year-old transgender woman is vying to become mayor of the city of Nampa.

Melissa Sue Robinson, who transitioned 11 years ago, has a husky voice and a large build, the Idaho Statesman reports. But apparently it's not Robinson's gender identity that makes her a longshot for mayor of this southwestern Idaho town -- it's the fact that Robinson is a Democrat.

Nampa, a town of 83,000 in Canyon County, has long been run by Republicans -- and men. Robinson is a relative newcomer to Nampa, having moved from Seattle last winter for her job at a telecommunications company.

"People are going to say I haven't been here long enough, but if you get me behind the mayor's desk I'm going to run this city," Robinson told the Statesman. "Right now, it's a good ol' boys club."

Robinson faces an uphill climb; Canyon County voted overwhelmingly for John McCain in the last presidential election. Boutique owner Joseph Shafer told the Statesman, "It doesn't seem like her chances are high -- or there at all. We're one of the most conservative counties in the state. I think we're one of the most conservative in the country."

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