Transgender candidate campaigns in Norman
The Norman Queer Alliance hosted a pancake breakfast in Norman for Oklahoma House of Representatives candidate Brittany Novotny Saturday to raise funds and awareness for her campaign.
The Norman Queer Alliance hosted the event for Novotny, transgender Democrat running for Oklahoma City seat representative, at the Performing Arts Studio in the Santa Fe Depot.
Novotny is challenging incumbent Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, this fall for Oklahoma State House of Representatives District 84, which includes some parts of Bethany, northwest Oklahoma City and Warr Acres.
“Campaigns unfortunately cost a lot of money to get your name and message out there, so we’re raising money to help make that happen,” Novotny said.
OU professor Sherri Irvin helped sponsor the event for Novotny. Irvin, who said she was not previously active in politics, said she is very eager to help promote Novotny.
“I just heard Brittany Novotny was running to replace Sally Kern, and I thought that was a wonderful thing,” Irvin said.
An Oklahoma native, Novotny graduated from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2002 and earned her J.D. from the University of California–Hastings in 2005, according to her Web site. She returned to Oklahoma City to start her own law practice in 2007.
“My No. 1 issue is jobs,” Novotny said. “I think our legislature needs to be doing everything it can to attract more business to the state.”
The room was filled with around 20 interested guests with plates full of pancakes, fruit, bacon and sausage.
Barney Gibbs attended the event to oppose Sally Kern, who became nationally known when audio of an anti-gay speech she gave at a University of Central Oklahoma College Republicans meeting hit YouTube in 2008.
“I’m happy to see somebody challenge [Kern],” Gibbs said. “I don’t know anything in particular about Brittany Novotny. I’m just curious to see what she has to say.”
Despite being a transgendered woman and her high-profile opponent, Novotny said her primary focus, if elected, will be job creation and not gay rights issues. She said she plans to work with Congress to better support teachers and take steps toward a high-speed rail service from Oklahoma City to Tulsa to create more jobs.
“I’m going to work real hard for the next 10 or 11 months until Election Day to help share my position and my values with the voters, so hopefully we can carry victory in November,” she said.
Novotny’s campaign will host another pancake breakfast Saturday in Oklahoma City.
“There are a lot of people here who support the kinds of values Brittany is bringing to the table,” Irvin said.