Alameda County in California has elected the first openly transgender judge in United States history.

Victoria Kolakowski, who transitioned from male to female in 1989 during her final year of law school, received 51 percent of the vote to join the Alameda County Superior Court, beating the county’s district attorney for the job by nearly ten thousand votes.

Last Monday, Kolakowski said her election to the position spoke well of Alameda voters’ “ability to look past differences and look to the things that matter – our ability and experience.”

Ms Kolakowski’s opponent John Creighton wished her luck in the role following his defeat.

Californian transgender groups helped fund Kolakowski’s campaign, which also received the backing of Democratic lawmakers and included so-called “robo call” messages sent to home phones and mail outs to residents. In the United States, many local government posts such as judges and town sheriffs are decided by vote rather than appointment.

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