Stephanie Laughton can run again

Stacie Laughton of Nashua, the state’s first openly transgender legislator who ultimately resigned and was forced to pay restitution related to a prior criminal conviction.

NASHUA — The state’s first openly transgender legislator who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2011 but never served her term, was able to narrowly secure a seat as a city selectman using a write-in campaign.

Democrat Stacie Laughton, of 80 Elm St., was elected Nov. 5 as a selectman for Ward 4 in Nashua.

A few years ago, Laughton was stripped of her Ward 4 selectman seat in Nashua after her position was ultimately nullified when news surfaced about her previous life as a convicted felon under the name of Barry C. Laughton Jr. in Laconia.

At the time, she also willingly resigned from her House of Representatives seat before ever serving in the position since she had unpaid restitution that had to be settled before serving public office.

Laughton was required to pay $2,000 in unpaid restitution in order to be cleared to run for her ward selectman seat last week. Although she was deemed eligible to run, she did not have enough time to place her name on the official ballot.

“I ran a write-in campaign. Write-in campaigns are tough, but it still panned out and I was able to win my election,” said Laughton. “It will be an honor to serve the city yet again as a selectman.”

Laughton secured one of the three selectmen seats for Ward 4. Barry Cardin obtained 270 votes, Margaret Gleneck garnered 314, Laughton obtained 10 and another write-in candidate, Stephanie Dufoe, secured four votes.

Cardin, however, ultimately declined his selectman seat. He is instead accepting a position as ward clerk, which he won via a write-in effort.

Laughton said she is already gearing up for next year’s fall election when she intends to once again run for state representative.

If elected to the House, Laughton said she plans to file about 10 different pieces of legislation, most of them focusing on gender equality issues.

In 2008, Laughton pled guilty to charges of fraudulent use of a credit card, conspiracy to commit identity fraud and falsifying physical evidence. And, in 2015, Laughton was sentenced to a suspended six-month jail term for reporting a bomb threat at a local hospital.