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Meet America's First Transgender Mayor

Stu Rasmussen won election after campaigning in a dress and with implants.

ByABC News via logo
November 8, 2008, 8:32 AM

Nov. 8, 2008 — -- The first time Stu Rasmussen was elected mayor of Silverton, Ore., he wore shirts and pants. This time around, after a landslide victory, he will be stepping into office donning a dress and makeup.

Rasmussen was recently elected as America's first transgender mayor.

Rasmussen told "Good Morning America" that the town went through the transition with him.

"Obviously, it was shocking to them," he said. "We all kind of went through it together. It was pretty obvious I was making a change, it had to happen in my head. They were ready before I was."

In a world where politicians can catch serious criticism for simply not wearing an American flag lapel pin, Rasmussen knew he was going to face a challenge.

"I think the first courageous act was coming out in the first place," he said. "The community was very receptive and accepting, with a few exceptions."

Though the transgender candidate faced unique problems, his platform was simple.

"My primary platform was low growth," he said, referring to his support for keeping the town small. "We had other issues I thought were not being properly addressed."

Rasmussen said the voters did not focus on his appearance.

"It's a rural or a community considered more conservative," he said. "They judge people on talent and ability rather than their shape."