A Jacksonville transgender woman has filed to run for Congress.
She’s running for the seat currently held by Republican Representative and former Sheriff John Rutherford.
Monica DePaul is an adjunct English professor at University of North Florida who also writes vampire novels.
“No one like me has ever run in this area before,” said DePaul.
DePaul was actively involved in fighting for Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance, which passed in February.
She was also the first transgender Florida delegate at the Democratic National Convention last year.
“Going to the convention and just seeing how – for lack of a better term, how dumb it was, just listening to the same thing over and over again,” said DePaul.
DePaul is running for Congress in 2018 as a Democrat, but she said voters should not expect her to toe the party line.
“We have Democrats who are too worried about stepping on the toes of big business, even though big business is more likely to support conservative Republicans. But then we have conservative Republicans who are, like, pretty much cartoon supervillains,” said DePaul.
A video game and anime enthusiast, DePaul has authored two novels about vampires.
“So that actually started way back in 2009 when "Twilight" came out and I was like, this is garbage. And I wanted to write something better,” said DePaul. “In my second book, "Blood on the Rocks," there’s pretty obvious jabs at [Florida Governor] Rick Scott.”
DePaul is an unconventional candidate, but she thinks that’s just what Washington needs.
“All I want to say to voters is they are not alone and I’m listening,” said DePaul.
DePaul said she plans to focus on a living wage for workers, cutting tax breaks for corporations and environmental issues.
U.S. Representatives serve two-year terms.
Congressman John Rutherford has not filed for reelection yet.
The only other candidate who has filed to run in Dist. 4 is Republican Rob Ficker.
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