A year after Danica Roem made history, two candidates from New Hampshire have joined her.
On Tuesday, Gerri Cannon won election to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, representing Strafford County District 18. As the Washington Blade was first to report, Cannon finished second in a six-candidate race to fill three open seats. She earned 21 percent of the overall vote.
Lisa Bunker is also headed to the State House after earning 17 percent of the vote in fourth in State House Rockingham District 18. That total was only two percent behind the top vote-getter—good enough for fourth place.
Candidates were campaigning four open seats. There were seven nominees in total.
The representatives-elect will soon become the first trans politicians to be seated in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. They are just the second and the third candidates to claim that honor anywhere in the United States.
In the 2017 special election, Roem made history in Virginia as the first transgender person to win a seat in a state legislature after defeating incumbent Bob Marshall by seven points. A self-described “homophobe,” Marshall wouldn’t refer to his opponent by the correct pronouns during the race for District 13 of the House of Delegates.
But Cannon and Bunker may not be the only women this year to follow in Roem’s footsteps. Brianna Titone, who is running for House District 27 in Colorado, is hundreds of votes behind her opponent at press time. The race is too close to call.
Roem traveled to Colorado during the race to help campaign for her.
New Hampshire’s inaugural crop of trans candidates boast a diverse range of professional experience. A member of the Somersworth School Board, Cannon has spent the last decade as an independent lobbyist working for change at the state capitol. Before entering politics, Bunker worked as the program director for a community radio station in Portland, Maine.
Both were endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which supports queer and trans candidates seeking elected office.