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Brianna Titone is Colorado's first transgender legislator


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  • Courtesy Brianna Titone
Update: Democrat Brianna Titone became the first openly transgender person elected to state office in Colorado, after winning a squeaker of a race in Colorado House District 27. After Titone secured a lead of nearly 400 votes, her opponent, Republican Vicki Pyne, conceded the race on Nov. 10 — it was the closest contest in the state.

Titone's broad base of support included Danica Roem, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and a famous transgender politician who recently visited Colorado to support Titone and other progressive candidates.

Though Titone's campaign did not focus on her gender identity, she stands with at least 153 LGBTQ people across the country elected to state and local offices in the 2018 midterms, including Colorado's governor-elect Jared Polis. Some are calling it a "rainbow wave."

"I think it's just the changing tide," Titone says. "The patriarchy is coming down."

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LGBTQ advocates across the country have found reason to celebrate since the historic 2018 midterm elections on Tuesday, which saw what some have been calling a “rainbow wave.” Riding that rainbow, Colorado elected Jared Polis, the nation’s first openly gay Governor. And, according to The New York Times on Nov. 7, at least 153 LGBTQ people have taken seats at multiple levels of state and local government.

Now, the closest race in the state of Colorado hangs on about 1,000 uncounted ballots, and tides in House District 27 seem to be turning toward Brianna Titone. If elected, she would become the first openly transgender person to hold state office in Colorado. Last she heard, she was 194 votes ahead of her opponent, Republican Vicki Pyne.

Speaking to the Indy on the morning of Friday, Nov. 9, Titone says she’s very optimistic, though she repeats the refrain “wait and see.”

When officials have counted all ballots, a mandatory recount will only be triggered if “the difference between the number of votes cast for each candidate is less than or equal to one half of one percent of however many votes the leader in the race has,” according to the Colorado Independent.

“I’m not really sure how long a recount would take,” Titone says. “We have 48,000 ballots counted. I’m not sure how long that takes to happen, but we’re out of automatic recount range right now.”

Whether or not the results continue to tip in her favor, it's obvious Titone has a broad supporter base, and even secured the attention of Danica Roem, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and famous transgender politician who recently visited Colorado to provide Titone and other progressive candidates support.

Should the worst case scenario happen, Titone says: “I would say probably I would consider [running again]. More than likely. … I have a good message, and people responded well to it.” But, of course, “we’ll wait and see.”

Another close race, this one in Colorado House District 47, sees Democrat Bri Buentello neck-and-neck with Republican Don Bendell. Buentello is currently projected to win, according to The New York Times’ election tracker. If she wins and nothing else changes in coming days, Colorado will have its first majority-female House in its history.

This rainbow wave, pink wave, blue wave — whatever anyone wants to call it — may not have changed the fate of our country entirely, but it stands as a good indication that all people want to be represented in their government.

“I think it’s just the changing tide,” Titone says. “The patriarchy is coming down.”


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