Hawes-Tingey on Her Way to Making History as First Transgender Mayor in Utah

By Sabrina Samone

Sophia Hawes-Tingey appeared to safely advance to the Nov. 7 final election, and one step closer to making history in the small Utah town of Midvale, as the first possible transgender Mayor in conservative Utah.

She was running second among five hopefuls and appearing safe to advance with 24 percent of the vote. Hawes-Tingey trailed a former city council member of the town, who had 30 percent of the vote.

Despite recent tweets to call for a ban on transgender military personnel, Sophia is a US Navy Veteran, who has served her country proudly and desires to continue to do so as Mayor of Midvale, Utah. She’s a software engineer with a passion for advancing diversity and combating discrimination in all forms.

Sophia Hawes-Tingey acknowledges the historic nature of her campaign for city council, but she does not want to make it the focus of her race in this Salt Lake City suburb.

“I see myself mostly as a community servant who just happens to be transgender,” she told her local Fox News affiliate after she filed to run for Midvale’s City Council District 2.

If elected, Hawes-Tingey would be the first openly-transgender person to serve in public office in the state of Utah. Her race does bring increased visibility to Utah’s LGBT community, which has seen big advances within the past couple of years when it comes to same-sex marriage, non-discrimination in housing and employment and several openly gay candidates seeking political office.

When asked about the significance of her candidacy, Hawes-Tingey said she wants to talk to voters about fighting crime, improving neglected neighborhoods and fostering economic growth in Midvale.

“I know to the LGBT community, they see this as a message of hope. But this is a race about community values,” she said.

Hawes-Tingey said being transgender “is only one aspect of who I am.” She pointed to her service on the Midvale Community Council.

“I’m also a software engineer. I’m a Navy veteran, I’ve studied dance for a number of years,” she said. “I don’t define myself only on my gender identity.”

Still, her campaign has attracted the attention of national gay rights groups. She has the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Restore Our Humanity and the Utah Stonewall Democrats.

Hawes-Tingey is challenging incumbent Midvale City Councilman Paul Glover, who is seeking his fourth term in office.

Utah, the home of the staunch conservative Mormon church, has been going through a progressive transition in recent years, with several LGBT politicians, and more vocal advocates. While the town of Midvale is not known for diversity, it is one of the fastest growing suburbs of Salt Lake City, growing 17% since the 2010 census, with an average median income of nearly 54,000 per household. With it’s progressive growth, and the willingness to embrace possibly the first transgender politician in Utah, this could be the first light of progressive change taking root in Utah.

DONATE TO SOPHIA HAWES-TINGEY CAMPAIGN

Currently 7,000 has been raised in support of Hawes-Tingey’s campaign. We’re asking our Friends of TMP to share her story and urge those in your immediate community to give in order to empower transgender politicians, who maybe our only way to fight the fascism we face.

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Caitlyn Jenner Hints About Senate Run…Odds are as Republican.

Just after musician Kid Rock tweeted out the possibility of Senate run in Michigan, Olympic gold medalist and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner told a New York radio audience she is eyeing a Senate run in California. Joining the list of Celebrities wishing to change careers.

Jenner told radio host John Catsimatidis that she was mulling whether she could accomplish more as an outsider “working the perimeter of the political scene” or “from the inside.”

California Senate incumbent Dianne Feinstein,¹ who turned 84 in June, has not said whether she plans to seek re-election in 2018. Feinstein has become one of the most pro-lgbt and respected Senators in the Country. If she chooses not to run, and Jenner, who is LGBT, as a Republican take the seat,  either circumstance could be a disaster, and further embarrassment for the trans community if Jenner runs.

Two months ago, she also in an interview with CNN”s Don Lemon², said “yes, I would consider a run.”  Most believe that she’d run as a Republican. Since her coming out, the majority of our community has been outspoken in their disapproval of Jenner’s choice to support the same politicians that would harm trans people. In February, she spoke out against Trump’s repealing of Obama’s transgender school bathroom policies, but continued her support and belief that she has influence with Trump, and urged the few trans republicans, to give him time. 

“I have considered it, I like the political side of it. The political side of it has always been very intriguing to me. Over the next six months or so, I [have to] find out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside, kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talk to anybody? Or are you better off from the inside. And we are in the process of determining that.”

Jenner said she has worked with the American Unity Fund to get GOP lawmakers to better understand LGBT issues.

That’s kind of my issue,” she said.

​Jenner, 67, who came out as a transgender woman in 2015³, ​said she could help change the face of the Republican Party.

The perception of the Republican Party is that they are all about rich white guys trying to make money. I would hope in ​the next​ generation​ ​… that we can change the perception of the Republican ​P​arty and make it the party of equality​,”​ she said.​

Jenner seems to think again, without any regard to the trans community she ‘thinks’ she represents, that she could change the Republican Party from the inside. It would be doubtful she’d have a chance up against the legendary Senator Dianne Feinstein, if Feinstein continues to run for office.

Yet with this news alone, it’s another potential embarrassing moment for our community. In days of slavery, the term Uncle Tom was coined to those that would sell out their own race for personal gain. Now we have a potential Auntie Tammy in the case of Jenner. Yet, there is growing support in our community of those that have seen her efforts to grow. Could there be a change in attitudes within our community about Caitlyn?

A long time advocate, author, and writer of TheTMPlanet Lynnea Stuart says, “Caitlyn Jenner has the right to run for political office and anyone who thinks she will stop her part of the public discourse will have a rude awakening. She’s not going away. And I welcome anyone who seeks to reform the GOP to become a more accepting and affirming party. There was a time when the Republicans were the party of civil rights and the Democrats the ultraconservatives. That changed in the 1960’s after Kennedy and Johnson stood for the civil rights of Blacks and certain other minorities. But I sense that Caitlyn will end up biting off more than she could chew if she goes for the Senate. This is someone who has admitted to having issues with reading and writing due to dyslexia and needed quite a bit of help from others to produce her book “Secrets of My Life.” She will face off against others who have gone through law school and are members of the BAR. These are people skilled in not only writing but debate. Does she have the critical skills necessary to field and LSAT? I seriously doubt it. Worse yet, she will also face off with Evangelical Dominionists, many of whom have shown themselves to have levels of scholarship in Philosophy, the Bible, and Classical Languages. From what I’ve seen her religious position isn’t thought through on the level it would require to confront the likes of Santorum, Pence, or Cruz. Nor have I seen any inclination on her part to expand her understanding of the Bible beyond the cursory spoon feeding she gets from her pastor. I like Caitlyn. I’m not inclined to bash her for her celebrity or her political affiliation. I’ve seen her grow remarkably in a short time despite her frequent gaffes. But I do think she has yet to fully develop her thinking before even beginning to take on a Senate run.”

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  1. Dianne Feinstein recalls the day she had to announce to the world, the assassination of  colleague Harvey Milk.
  2. Don Lemon is an openly gay news anchor for CNN.
  3. In 2015, Bruce Jenner, former Olympic Gold Medalist, came out as transgender
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