Transgender woman enters Minnesota House race

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Born a man, the 59-year-old Eagan resident is thought to be the first openly transgender candidate for Congress in Minnesota history. She transitioned to female two years ago and has credited the switch with contributing to her involvement in state politics.

Overby announced her prospective candidacy in mid-August, but only recently finished accumulating the 1,000 signatures needed to run. She collected the signatures by knocking on the doors of thousands of homes in the district.

While Overby told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that her gender identity could be a driving force behind support for and opposition to her, she said she wants her campaign’s focus to be on reforming campaign finance and restricting the influence of lobbyists, not on any sexuality-related issues.

Overby has never run for office and would face an uphill battle if she survives the primary. The 2nd District leans slightly Republican, and Kline is a six-term incumbent who significantly outperformed Mitt Romney’s showing in the district in 2012.