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Missoula voters send first openly trans and non-binary candidates to Montana Legislature

First openly trans and non-binary candidates elected to Montana Legislature
Posted at 2:42 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 16:43:05-05

MISSOULA - Missoula voters elected the first openly transgender and non-binary candidates to the Montana Legislature this week.

House District 95 will be represented by non-binary Democrat SJ Howell in the upcoming legislative session.

House District 100 will be represented by Democrat Zooey Zephyr, a transgender woman.

Both Zephyr and Howell told MTN previously the 2021 Legislative session, which saw a number of bills that affected transgender and nonbinary individuals pass, influenced their decisions to run.

However, neither of the legislators wants to be single-issue issue lawmakers and said they want to represent the breadth of issues affecting Montanans.

When LGBTQIA+ issues do arise, both said they hope their presence will center the conversation on the people who will be affected by the legislation.

Both HD 95 and HD 100 roughly cover the core of Missoula from the railroad tracks downtown and west of Higgins down to South Avenue.

The first day of the 2023 Montana Legislative Session begins January 2.