Alabama Democrats rejected a transgender candidate for an open state House seat on Tuesday.
Travis Hendrix, 40, a Birmingham police sergeant, defeated transgender candidate Sylvia Swayne, 26, in a state House District 55 runoff contest.
With 30 of 31 precincts counted, Hendrix had 2,367 votes, amounting to 65.12 percent of the vote, according to the Birmingham Times. Swayne totaled 1,268 votes, which came to 34.88 percent.
“The key was working hard. I didn’t think it would be this [large a margin of victory] but one thing I did know was as long as I continued to work hard everything else would [work out]. We knocked on a lot of doors,” Hendrix said.
Travis Hendrix, a 40-year old Birmingham police officer, is heading to the Alabama State House after winning a runoff election in Jefferson County on Tuesday.
Hendrix, a Democrat, prevailed against Democrat Sylvia Swayne to represent House District 55. https://t.co/f1gRvYPEFS
— AL.com (@aldotcom) October 25, 2023
There is no Republican candidate in the race, which means Hendrix is all but assured of winning in the January election for the seat, which became open when former state Rep. Fred Plump resigned after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges.
Swayne had received intense media coverage because he was the first transgender candidate in the state.
“I don’t want to consider myself the trans candidate,” Swayne had told Al.com during the campaign. “But I do recognize the historical element of my campaign and my candidacy. It certainly informs my perspective. It’s not something I’m afraid to talk about. It’s who I am.”
“I think young people are excited that someone their age who shares their values is running for state office in Alabama,” he said, according to Newsweek.
Swanye received significant campaign cash from out of state, according to Al.com.
Sylvia Swayne, 26, is running for Alabama state house (HD-55). She is the first openly transgender person ever to run for the state legislature in AL. She has a special election coming up in just a few days. https://t.co/S7Vuhr4h4k pic.twitter.com/43KWSBMaK6
— David Hogg 🟧 (@davidhogg111) October 20, 2023
Swayne’s campaign netted $209,352 in campaign donations, including $124,325 from Leaders We Deserve, a Washington group co-founded by anti-gun advocate David Hogg.
Hendrix, on the other hand, received $81,837.29 from a variety of donors.
Swayne’s status as a transgender individual emerged in the campaign when a flyer was distributed in the district, according to the Alabama Reflector.
The flyer, which the Hendrix campaign said it did not distribute, said Swayne “was born to be a white male and lives as a white woman/transgender.”
Swayne was making his first bid for office and beat out six local Democratic leaders to reach the runoff that he lost to Hendrix, according to 1819 News.
According to Al.com, Swayne said Alabama voters will see more transgender candidates in the future.
“I might be the first transgender woman to run in the state of Alabama, but I’ll be damned if I’m the last,” he said. “People want to see change. People want to see something different.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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