The Campaign Spot

Transgender Democrat Running for Congress in Minnesota

Here’s something you don’t see every day:

The 2014 race for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District — targeted by national Democrats as one they believe they can win — is about to become more crowded and more interesting.

Paula Overby, who is a 59-year-old quality assurance analyst from Eagan, says she has nearly enough signatures on a petition to get on next year’s Democratic primary ballot to compete for the congressional seat.

Overby, born a man who now identifies as a woman, believes she will be the first openly transgendered person from Minnesota to run for Congress.

She will face fellow Eagan residents Thomas Craft, another political newcomer who announced his candidacy in July, and Mike Obermueller, who lost a 2012 bid to unseat U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Lakeville. Kline has held the seat for more than a decade.

Perhaps most intriguing is her statement that those legendarily tolerant and open-minded Democrats aren’t welcoming her, although she doesn’t explicitly say it’s because of her shifting gender identity: “Overby acknowledged she received ‘push back’ from fellow Democrats about getting into the race. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted Kline’s seat as one they believe they can win in 2014.”

This is an R+2 district in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.


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