TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former Wichita band teacher will serve as the first transgender state lawmaker in Kansas.
Unofficial results from Tuesday's election show 57-year-old Democrat Stephanie Byers of Wichita defeated Republican Cyndi Howerton and will represent a legislative district that includes parts of Wichita.
Byers said throughout the campaign that being transgender is only part of her identity, and she plans to focus on issues such as health care. But she acknowledged her election gives hope to the transgender community, particularly in deeply conservative Kansas.
Before Tuesday's election, there were four other transgender people serving in state legislatures in the U.S.
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