- Posted June 20, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Candidate plans to run for Nampa mayor in Idaho
Candidate plans to run for Nampa mayor
Saturday, June 13th, 2009
NAMPA — Nampa resident Melissa Sue Robinson knows the response she gets from some voters could be negative.
But that will not stop the male-to-female, post-operative transgendered Qwest worker from a planned run for Nampa mayor, she announced Friday.
Robinson, 58, wants to pass a city ordinance that would protect lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered Nampa residents from job discrimination. She also wants to make downtown Nampa a more youth-friendly place.
Robinson admits her election to mayor over 7 1/2-year incumbent Tom Dale would not come easily. And she expects some mixed reaction to her campaign.
"You and I both know Nampa's conservative," Robinson said. "I'm going to have a hard road to travel. But I won't be able to make that assessment (of how well I can do) until I get out in the field and get the reaction of the people."
Robinson has campaign experience, although she has lost several races for public office. She said she finished third in a 2003 mayoral race in Lansing, Mich., where she ran against an incumbent and a state senator.
In that race, according to news reports, she fought a law that required her to place both her name before her gender change and her current name on the ballot.
Robinson also ran for state representative and state senator in Michigan as a Democrat. She said she was a Republican before her gender change operation in 1998. She also ran for a school board position in Seattle, where she lived before moving to Nampa this year.
Robinson said she founded the National Association for the Advancement of Transgendered Persons, which she said has 600 members nationwide. She wants to form a nonprofit advocacy group in Idaho called Idaho Equality.
The actual filing period for mayoral races isn't until September.
The potential mayoral candidate said she owned her own business for 10 years and is experienced at fundraising.
"If a person supports me I'm going to be able to get the money," Robinson said.
Robinson said she understood Dale to be "a nice person" who "seems to be effective."
Dale declined comment on Robinson's announcement