Transgender Candidate Makes Run For Congress

Donna Milo hopes to be republican nominee for D-20

Cuban-American Donna Milo, 48, has her sights on Congress and hopes to unseat U.S. Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston. And while Wasserman is considered a far-to-the-left liberal, Milo is an unapologetically conservative and a transgender woman.

But as she says, “I don’t like labels.”

Instead, Milo believes in her actions speaking volumes in terms of who she is and what she represents.

“I am an American . . . my triumphs are based on my abilities, not on a label or a crutch,” she adds.

Milo’s story is indeed typical of the immigrant family that moves to the U.S. for greater opportunities and the realization of their dreams. She was born ‘Ed’ and the youngest of nine children in Cuba. Her family immigrated to Miami in 1964 and to Ft. Lauderdale four years later. Then months before graduating from Stranahan High School, Ed Milo quit school to help the family — her father, an auto mechanic was ill and money was short.

Milo then studied to become a contractor, eventually became a home builder and even married his high school sweetheart at the age of 19. Their children, Michael and Emily are now 25 and 22. But Milo admits that there was always something that nagged at her from inside.

The Transition Begins

“I identified feelings as far back as I could remember,” she said. “I didn’t have an awareness that there was such a thing until very late in my teen years. I thought I was alone.”

Then in the 1990s, Milo sought medical and psychological advice, and, after telling then-wife Isabel, began her transition. She would divorce, live three years as a woman and in 2000 legally became Donna, shortly thereafter undergoing gender-reassignment surgery. “

After I transitioned and became at peace with myself and my life and my body, I’ve been able to give time to the community,” she said.

Milo would indeed become involved in her Miami Shorecrest neighborhood, joining the city’s Planning Advisory Board five years ago before recently deciding to run for the House of Representatives for the 20th C o n g r e s s i o n a l District. The district includes parts of Miami, Weston, Plantation and Wilton Manors.

The issues don’t include gay rights Milo has been busy over the past month, speaking at the A v i e / C o o p e r Republican Club, the Republican Jewish Coalition Meeting in Plantation, the Republican Business Network Meeting in Coral Springs and various clusters of the Florida Federation of Republican Women.

Some have said she didn’t believe that a transgender woman was running for office but have discovered that this lady means business.

“The people are my first and foremost priority,” she says in her mission statement, as posted on her website, www.donnamilo. com. “I will make decisions and act based on your input and the public interest, not on any personal or special interest agenda.”

Reviewing Milo’s campaign issues are illustrative of a hard core, conservative and despite her avoiding labels, it is clear that is where her heart lies.

She is opposed to higher taxes and favors a simplified tax code, believes that the U.S. should take control of its borders and implement more effective immigration measures, wants to see the insurance industry deregulated, is a staunch pro life advocate and wants to see an end to the country’s dependence on foreign oil. In addition, she says she would never vote for any form of stimulus or bailout and is, perhaps most surprisingly, believes that the rights of marriage should only be extended to “a man and a woman.” The campaign trail is still ahead.