Veteran D.C. transgender activist Jeri Hughes this week announced she is a candidate for president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club in the groupâ€™s annual officersâ€™ election scheduled forÂ Nov. 18.
Hughes is the second candidate so far to enter the race for the presidentâ€™s position. Stein Club Vice President for Legislative and Political Affairs Angela Peoples announced two weeks ago that she was running for president after incumbent President Martin Garcia said he would step down as president and run for the vice presidential seat held by Peoples.
If successful, Hughes would be the first transgender person to serve as the clubâ€™s president. Transgender and Democratic Party activist Julius Agars served as the clubâ€™s vice president two years ago.
Meanwhile, Stein Club Secretary Jimmie Luthuli announced this week that she is running for the position of vice president for administration. That post is being vacated by incumbent Vincent Paolo Villano, who isnâ€™t running for re-election. As of this week, no one has announced candidacy for the Stein Club treasurerâ€™s position, which is being vacated by gay Democratic activist Barrie Daneker, who also decided not to seek re-election.
â€śEveryone who knows me knows Iâ€™m a fighter who works hard to help the community,â€ť Hughes said. â€śWhatever the issues are I will fight for them.â€ť
She added, â€śThis has very little to do with Martin and Angela. I want to give the existing members a choice.â€ť
Garcia, Peoples and Vallano ran as a slate in the clubâ€™s election last year in opposition to the slate organized by then-Stein Club President Lateefah Williams. Their victory, which caught some of the clubâ€™s longtime members by surprise, resulted in a change in leadership and came about after an effort by the then challengers to sign up more than 50 new members supportive of them just days prior to the election.
At the time, Hughes criticized the new group for â€śstackingâ€ť the election, even though she acknowledged their actions were allowed under the clubâ€™s bylaws. The club has since changed its bylaws to require prospective members to join the club at least 30 days prior to a club election in order to be eligible to vote.