Voters in the Collin County town of New Hope could become the first in Texas to elect a transgender mayor.
Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Herbst was appointed Mayor nearly two years ago, and now Mayor Jess Herbst is running for the office in her own right.
“I would like to actually be able to say that they elected me for being me, for being Jess, and they want me to be their mayor”, said Mayor Herbst, “and I think it’s very important, because that shows a mark of confidence that they have in me.”
Mayor Herbst made history early last year.
Appointed to the office after the previous mayor died, Jess Herbst announced she was transitioning while in office – making her the first transgender mayor in Texas.
“The last year has been absolutely amazing”, says Mayor Herbst, “I mean you would be hard pressed to know that I’ve even transitioned, everyone treats me exactly the same as they always have, city council meeting have been nothing but business, which is exactly what it should be.”
“I have no problem with the mayor, as far as I’m concerned, the mayor’s done great,” said Virginia Emeyabbi, who lives just across the street from the New Hope Town Hall.
The only other declared candidate is Angel Hamm, the widow of longtime Mayor Johnny Hamm, who preceded Herbst.
“That’s going to be exciting,” said Emeyabbi, “everybody loved Johnny, they do, but I like the mayor too so, the mayor that’s now, so, it’s going to be a good race I think.”
Angel Hamm refused comment, but Mayor Herbst hopes the campaign will focus on local issues, including the growing traffic problem through town as Northern Collin County continues to grow.
The election is May 5th, and any other interested candidates have until the middle of February to get on the ballot.