In a crowded race for the 3rd congressional district, Alexandra Chandler brings her unique work experience to the campaign trail.
“I am the only candidate in this field with career national security experience,” she says.
Chandler worked in the office of Naval Intelligence for more than a decade, but it’s what Chandler was going through in her personal life at that time that also sets her apart.
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"I transitioned, my gender transition from male to female, on the job as a North Korea counter proliferation analyst in 2006,” she recalled.
Chandler says her immediate coworkers were very accepting - though not everyone else was - as was made clear during a work place town hall when Chandler says someone stood up and said, “There’s a drag queen that’s going to be using our bathrooms and it’s disgusting, this is disgusting and you’ve got to protect us.”
Chandler says the experience has given her strength and confidence as she campaigns in the 3rd congressional district, an experience she never predicted when she and her high school sweetheart - now wife - and two children moved from Washington to Haverhill to live with her parents.
“And frankly, though this might sound amusing now, to do something a little more boring,” she said.
Life is now anything but boring. She is happy to talk about being the first transgender candidate for Congress but finds voters are more interested in her naval intelligence expertise - more likely to tell her, as Chandler says, “Oh yeah and I heard your trans, I don’t care about that. I’m going to vote for you because for you it’s about service, it’s not about all the money and I don’t care about all the rest and go get ‘em.”
Chandler says in a field of 13 candidates, she can win this race by knocking on 25,000 doors and winning 25,000 votes - which is exactly what Chandler says she intends to do.