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Former State Rep.-elect Stacie Laughton, right, the first openly transgender person elected to the New Hampshire legislature, has announced her intention to run in the special election organized to replace her. Laughton is shown as she rings a bell for the Salvation Army Thursday morning in Nashua. Simn Rios/Union Leader Correspondent 

Transgender female intends to run for seat she vacated

NASHUA - Former state representative-elect Stacie Laughton intends to run in the special election that was scheduled in the wake of her resignation.

"This is purely based on what my supporters, my friends, my family have asked me to do," said Laughton, 28, D-Nashua, who was elected in November to represent the city's fourth ward.

Laughton identifies as a transgender female. She resigned before taking the seat after revelations of her criminal background, which included a felony conviction in Laconia that landed her for 4 1/2 months in the county jail.

Ringing a bell for the Salvation Army Thursday morning, Laughton said she decided after resigning to give politics a break. But supporters from around the city and state told her she shouldn't have bowed out.

Meghan Owen, a transgender Green Party candidate who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House seat in Texas' 25th district, is one of those supporters, Laughton said.

"She said I shouldn't have given up. It was a major inspiration for the trans community and I should've stuck in there," Laughton said.

Laughton also said she enjoys the support of the mother of a transgender third-grader in Nashua, who made headlines when she switched schools, and the district agreed teachers would address her as a female.

"I told her that I was able to declare and put my name on the ballot; she says, 'You put your name on that ballot, you hear?' That started to get me thinking, do I really want to do this?" Laughton said.

She recognized that she can't necessarily count on the support of Democratic leaders in the state, and she speculated that they probably don't want her to run.

Asked if she stands a chance, Laughton said, "We'll see. I think time will tell."

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