US: Transgender woman concedes Oklahoma House District 88

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Retired Oklahoma City police officer and US Army veteran Paula Sophia conceded the race for District 88 in Oklahoma’s House of Representatives. An out transgendered woman Sophia trailed Jason Dunnington by 22 votes.

Dunnington, a professor and businessman, took 990 votes, and, without a Republican contender, claimed the house seat for District 88.

Sophia said to Buzzfeed: “I feel a lot of resolve that whatever credibility concerns people had about me when I entered the race have alleviated and that I will continue to be active in community affairs and engaged in issues and make sure to the best of my ability that the progressive voice in Oklahoma is heard.”

The campaign waited for the final count at the District House Coffee House where Sophia addressed her supports.

She said: “This is real and I’m so humbled by all of the support. Look at all the people here and you all are showing so much love and I don’t know how I’m ever going to repay that.”

As the final votes came in this morning Sophia considered a recount.

If there were any “irregularities” a recount could have taken days. There were not enough provisional ballots cast in the election to warrant the recount, and Sophia and her election team decided to not “waste taxpayer time and money on a recount, when the voters of House District 88 had spoken”.

If she had won, Sophia would have been the first openly trans person in the state legislature.

Despite feeling disappointed in the concession, Sophia is handing the District to Dunnington with the expectation that he will hear all of the voices of the district.