DeKalb County woman is Georgia's only transgender elected offici - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

DeKalb County woman is Georgia's only transgender elected official

Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
DORAVILLE, GA (CBS46) -

A woman from DeKalb County made history on Election Day after she was voted in as Doraville's first transgender city councilwoman.

Stephe Koontz will be sworn in on January 1, becoming the only transgender elected official in the state. For ten years, Koontz toyed with the idea of running for office but says her dreams were met with a harsh reality.

"Friends told me, 'You can't run. You're transgender. You're going to be unelectable because of that," said Koontz. "I think I've got this. I don't think there's anything that I can't handle that's going to come up."

The race for District 3 was a tight one with Koontz only winning by six votes.

"It was a nail-biter. We got the first news that I was four down and we won by the absentee ballot's," Koontz told CBS46 News.

As soon as she's sworn in, the freshman plans to hit the ground running, tackling constituent's concerns like potholes and new development. Koontz hopes her biggest challenges will impact her smallest supporters. She says she wants transgender youth to know that anything is possible.

"I'm fighting back tears right now being in the space and thinking that I could've ever possibly been standing here saying that I've been elected to public office as a transgender woman," said Koontz.

While she's honored to be a role model, Koontz doesn't want her gender identity to cloud the issues because there's work to be done.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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