Kristal Larson wins Avon Township clerk seat, one of Illinois' first non-judicial trans candidates to be elected

HAINESVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- One of the winners in Tuesday night's municipal elections is not only making history in Lake County, but across the entire state of Illinois.

Kristal Larson has made history in Hainesville. The next Avon Township clerk is one of the state's first non-judicial trans candidates to be elected.

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Larson is no stranger to politics, having served on the Avon Township board as a trustee before she was out as transgender.

Her victory makes her the next Avon Township Clerk and she says one of her first goals is to upgrade an outdated filing system.

"We have an amazingly accepting community in Lake County," Larson said. "Jill Rose Quinn out in Cook County just made this achievement back in November. So, I mean, we're both really new to this and we are part of, I think, less than 25 people nationwide."

"Kristal had already served in local office. Kristal has deep roots in the community as a volunteer," said Annise Parker, LGBTQ Victory Fund. "So this is a person that is of the community. And that makes all the difference."

Parker, a three-term mayor of Houston and the president of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said Larson's win happened because Lake County voters elected someone they know is connected to their community.
"For a lot of voters, there's almost a dialogue," Parker explained. "It's something like: 'I don't understand that or I don't approve of that, but if you will be honest with me about your sexual orientation or your gender identity I bet you'll be honest with me about other things as well. And that's what I want. I want people who will tell me the truth in office.'"

Larson gets that as she delivers this message to the people who elected her: "I want you to hold me to the highest standard you can. Keep me accountable. Be at those meetings and call me out when I'm not doing the right job. Please."

Larson said she wants the judge who presided over her name change to give her the oath of office next month. She remembers him saying to her that day: "I want to be the first to welcome you to the world."
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