Minnesota Elects First Out Lesbian Native American to State Legislature

Democrat Susan Allen, a Victory Fund-endorsed candidate in a special election for Minnesota’s State House, won the seat with 55.96% of the vote, making her the first out lesbian Native American elected to a state legislature.
By: Boo Jarchow
January 12 2012 2:23 PM

Democrat Susan Allen, a Victory Fund-endorsed candidate in a special election for Minnesota’s State House, won the seat with 55.96% of the vote, making her the first out lesbian Native American elected to a state legislature, according to Southwest Minneapolis Patch.

Allen, an experienced tax and tribal law attorney who has lived in the city for the past 14 years, will replace Jeff Hayden who currently represents District 61B in south central Minneapolis.

"It reminds me of a lot of the places I grew up," Allen told Minnesota Public Radio. "It's 62 percent minority." Over half of the children in the district live in poverty.

On her website for the campaign Allen noted, “I reflect the great diversity of our district, as a Native American woman and a member of the LGBT community, and hope to bring this important voice to the state capital to offer more balanced, representative contributions and input.”

“Susan is a remarkable woman and a dedicated progressive,” Allen’s opponent, Nathan Blumenshine, said as he conceded with 43% of the votes. “Her personal story is a powerful one, and I can’t think of a stronger leader to serve as the voice of this community. I laud the respectful tone that she showed me and brought to this race. I will now do everything I can to support her work, to ensure that we bring affordable health care to all Minnesotans, educational opportunities to all children, and living-wage jobs to the many unemployed in our community.”

In a post on her website thanking voters, Allen noted she is excited to begin work on behalf of the district. “My early priorities will be to bring jobs and job training to our district, work on a fair tax system for Minnesota and fight the discriminatory constitutional marriage amendment,” she explained.

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