By Shaun Boyd

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– Brianna Titone is making history in Colorado as the first openly transgender person to run for state office.

She is among a record number of gay and transgender people running for office nationwide this year, including Congressman Jared Polis, a Democrat, who is the first openly gay man to run for governor of Colorado.

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The so-called “rainbow wave” comes amid efforts by the White House and some state legislatures to roll back protections.

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“I think that having someone like me be a part of the legislature where people may not accept me and to be their colleague I think is an important step,” Titone says.

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She already has an impressive resume that includes firefighter, geologist, and software developer.

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While she recognizes the historic nature of her candidacy, she says that’s not what she’s focused on, “My job as a candidate is to talk about issues… education funding is the number one issue people are talking about, also transportation funding. I have a lot of experience; I have a lot of knowledge that really comes to table and I want to use those skills. I think people will see me as someone who really wants work together… and not play identity politics.”

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But while she’s not making an issue of her identity, others are. She admits there is still a lot of intolerance.

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“Some private messages that people send me on Facebook are horrible but I get a lot of people coming up to me being inspired by me and that really fuels me to get up early, stay up late and work really hard to win this election.”

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She’s running to replace Rep. Lang Sias, who Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton tapped to be his Lt. Governor.

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Titon’s opponent in House District 27 is Vicki Pyne, a mom and small business owner who’s served on several community boards.

Shaun Boyd is CBS4’s political specialist. She’s a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.

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