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Ketchum Wins Seat On the Wheeling City Council

WASHINGTONYesterday, transgender candidate Rosemary Ketchum, endorsed by the Victory Fund, won a seat on the Wheeling City Council, which made her the first out trans person ever elected in West Virginia.

Currently, there are just 26 out trans elected officials serving anywhere in the nation. When Ketchum takes office, there will be just four out LGBTQ elected officials in all of West Virginia.

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about Ketchum’s victory:

“Rosemary has shattered a lavender ceiling in West Virginia and will join the growing number of out trans elected officials serving nationwide. Trans people are severely underrepresented in elected office – with just 26 out trans officials anywhere in the country – so Rosemary’s victory will resonate well beyond her state. We know Rosemary’s race will inspire other trans people from conservative states to consider a run for office in their communities – and then those candidates will inspire others as well. That virtuous cycle is the key to building trans acceptance and political power long-term.”

Ketchum officially announced her candidacy for Wheeling City Council to represent the 3rd Ward on July 3rd. According to her bio on the Victory Fund’s website, her platform “was built on community service and making Wheeling a city for all”a city where she’s lived all her life. “With a plan to combat addiction, homelessness, lack of accessible public transit, along with many other public issues, she worked to ensure the values of the community were reflected in the actions of the local leadership.”

She also pledged to “organize, host, and fund positive community engagement events, to never hide from tough conversations, and to put 20% of her council pay back into the community.”

rosemary ketchum

City Councilor elect Rosemary Ketchum

Other news outlets reported that Ketchum will take her seat on the council next month. A member of the Human Rights Commission, Ketchum told The Intelligencer that she “lived and worked in the city of Wheeling for almost a decade and that she’d seen what works and what doesn’t work.


“I’ve lived and worked in the city of Wheeling for almost a decade, and I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work,” Ketchum said. “I believe there is an energy in the city, but I’ve also heard it called the ‘tale of two cities.’

More information about Victory Fund and its candidates is available on its website at victoryfund.org/ourcandidates. Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state, and federal elections.


LGBTQ Victory Fund

LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government.

[From a News Release and other Excerpts]