What Stacie Laughton wants people to see is that she is just like everyone else. If elected in November, Laughton believes that she will be the first openly transgender member of the state House of Representatives. But Laughton wants voters to focus on the issues rather than her identity. Laughton finalized her plans to run for state office Thursday morning, filing her paperwork at City Hall with a group of other candidates. “It was a sign of solidarity,” Laughton said of filing together. “It was a special moment.” To Laughton’s knowledge, she is the first openly transgender person to run for state office. “It was a surprise to me,” she said. “I wasn’t really even thinking about that. I’m mostly thinking about the issues. It’s a honor to know that I’m the first.” Laughton is more focused on using the position as an opportunity to improve society: advocating for the homeless, those in low-income housing, and those with mental illnesses and physical disabilities. She also said she would like to strengthen the public school system.