Election 2024

Trans candidate Leigh Finke wins Minnesota state House primary setting up historic candidacy

Leigh Finke spoke at the rally
Leigh Finke spoke at the rally Photo: Screenshot

Leigh Finke has won Tuesday’s Democratic primary election for Minnesota’s state House district 66A. The journalist, advocate, and filmmaker will now advance to November’s general election, where she will face off against Republican nominee Trace Johnson.

A win in November would make Finke the first out transgender state legislator ever elected in Minnesota.

On Tuesday morning, Finke posted a photo of herself and her team on Twitter, along with a simple celebratory message: “We did it. We won.”

Endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, Finke was named one of the organization’s “Spotlight Candidates.”

“From safeguarding abortion rights to addressing economic inequality to expanding protections for trans people, Leigh has a persuasive and critically important agenda that voters are clearly enthusiastic about,” Victory Fund president and CEO Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement Tuesday. “We are confident Leigh’s win tonight is a clear sign to our community—and LGBTQ kids in particular—that hate will not triumph. Leaders like Leigh prove over and over again that our community is strong, united and ready to lead our nation into a kinder and more accepting future. Backing down has never been in our DNA, especially when our freedoms are on the ballot.”

Last year, Finke spoke at a rally for former Hastings, Minnesota, school board chair Kelsey Waits, who faced harassment after her daughter Kit was outed as transgender.

“Kit’s trans identity was turned against their mother,” Finke said. “This is a despicable, vile act that must be condemned.”

“Take a look around,” she said. “This is what happens when trans kids are attacked. We show up. We show up and that’s not going to stop.”

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