Arkansas Just Elected a Trans person, the First in the State’s History

Evelyn Rios Stafford

Evelyn Rios Stafford was just elected Justice of The Peace (JP) for Washington County’s District 12 in Fayetteville Arkansas. She stepped down from her position as a Fayetteville Housing Authority Commissioner when Democrat Candy Clark suffered a stroke and was unable to continue with her campaign.

Justices of the Peace (JPs) in Arkansas are somewhat similar to City Council Members, but for County Government. JPs serve on the Quorum Court, which is the county’s legislative branch. JPs serve two-year terms. They control all spending and revenue for the county.

“I’m so excited to get to work as the next Justice of the Peace for Washington County’s District 12,” ” she wrote.

Evelyn Rios Stafford
Evelyn Rios Stafford accepting one of her two Emmys

The district includes downtown Fayetteville and the city’s southeast neighborhoods.

Evelyn Rios Stafford an Emmy award-winning Journalist worked to pass Fayetteville’s Civil Rights Ordinance in 2015 which expanded protections to include LGBT people. That Ordinance was later nullified by the Arkansas Supreme Court but that didn’t dishearten the Oak Cliff Texas native or her future constituents.

A lot has changed since Former Fayetteville Councilman John La Tour threatened to wave his penis at a woman he thought was trans.

And with the likes of Tom Cotton still in office Democrats like Evelyn Rios Stafford have a long way to go.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


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