June 12, 2014 at 12:09 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Trans Republican wins primary in bid for Nevada Assembly seat
Lauren Scott, Nevada, gay news, Washington Blade

Lauren Scott, who’s transgender, has won the Republican nomination to represent Nevada in the state legislature. (Photo courtesy of the Scott Campaign; via Wikimedia Commons)

An openly transgender woman claimed the Republican nomination on Tuesday night in her bid to represent Nevada in the state legislature.

Lauren Scott, who’s transgender and a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, won the Republican primary election for Nevada Assembly District 30 in a contest against Adam Khan. She took 58 percent of the vote compared to 42 percent won by her opponent.

The district, which includes parts of Reno, is heavily Democratic, but Scott pledged to fight to win the general election.

“I have always been a moderate and I am willing to work with Democrats and Republicans to find solutions to the problems facing Nevada today,” Scott said in a statement.

Although her opponent was endorsed by the Nevada Republican Assembly, Scott was endorsed by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. She hasn’t been endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. In the general election, Scott will face off against Democratic incumbent State Assembly member Michael Sprinkle.

It’s not the first time Scott has sought a seat in the Nevada Legislature. In 2012, she tried to claim the seat to represent District 30 in the Nevada Assembly, but she lost the Republican nomination to Ken Lightfoot.

According to Scott’s campaign website, she was an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force for nearly seven years. She served three years in Nevada at the Tonopah Test Range in support of F-117A Stealth Fighter operations, the website says, and qualified as a small arms expert with the M-16 rifle, earned two Achievement Medals and received a Commendation Medal for her service during Operation Desert Storm. She received an honorable discharge in 1994.

In 2012, Sandoval appointed Scott to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. Over the course of the last three legislative sessions, she helped found Equality Nevada and worked as a lobbyist to advance civil rights issues in the state.

If elected, Scott could be the first openly transgender person to serve in a state legislature in U.S. history. However, she may compete for that distinction with Dana Beyer, who competing with State Sen. Rich Madaleno in Maryland for the Democratic nomination for his district in Maryland.

Stacie Laughton, another openly transgender candidate, was elected to the New Hampshire legislature in 2012 but her candidacy was declared to be invalid. She resigned and was never seated.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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