US: Maryland Democrat candidate fails to become first transgender official in state senate

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An equality advocate and retired surgeon has missed out on the chance to become Maryland’s first transgender state senator, after failing to defeat the gay incumbent in Tuesday’s Democrat primary.

Dana Beyer, executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, announced her intention to run against state Sen. Richard Madaleno in January. Madaleno was the state senate’s first gay elected official.

Beyer, who claimed during the race that Madaleno was not progressive enough, told the Daily Beast before the elections: “I’m the only candidate who can change the world simply by showing up for work.”

Nevertheless, according to election results early on Wednesday, victory in the Montgomery County primary went to Madaleno.

Madaleno was the driving force behind the Fairness for All Marylanders Act earlier this year, which made it a crime to discriminate against trans people.

An attempt by Republicans earlier this month to trigger a referendum on the law failed due to lack of popular support.

As the polls closed, Beyer described on her Facebook page how she had shook hands with her rival and said, “To the future. And, regardless of the outcome, we made history.”

Writing on her website after the results, Beyer thanked her team and supporters and said: “While we did not prevail, we participated in that grandest of American drams, representative democracy, and we did so with dignity and integrity.”

She added: “I hope this campaign leads to bigger and better things for the residents of Montgomery County over the next four years. We are faced with daunting problems, and must remain steadfast to overcome them and create a more perfect union.”

No Republican ran in the district, meaning that Madaleno is due to return directly to the state senate.