running for mayor

Can Idaho Locals See Beyond Melissa Sue Robinson’s Sex Change?


Brace yourself for Idaho’s version of Stu Rasmussen — or at least someone hoping to be. Melissa Sue Robinson is running in Nampa, Idaho’s mayoral race, hoping to unseat two-term incumbent in a staunchly conservative area.

This isn’t unfamiliar territory for Robinson, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1998. In 2003, the 58-year-old (now celibate) telecommunications worker ran for mayor of Lansing (where her birth name Charles Edward Staelens Jr. was listed on the ballot, because of Michigan law requiring disclosure of previous names), and also ran for city council there.

Now, her campaign team includes ex-wife, Linda, who’s campaign treasurer. The two, who were married for 17 years, still live together.

But as this report tells it, voters aren’t so much concerned with Robinson being transgender, but with her being a Democrat. Not the worst scarlet letter a politico can wear, then, in a region that handed John McCain 67 percent of the vote.

(Photo: AP)