Kathy Kozachenko

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Kathy Kozachenko
Ann Arbor City Council, Second Ward
In office
Preceded by Nancy Wechsler (HR)
Succeeded by Earl W. Greene (D)
Personal details
Political party Human Rights Party

In April 1974, Kathy Kozachenko's successful bid for a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan city council made her the first openly gay or lesbian candidate to run successfully for political office in the United States.[1] Kozachenko ran on the ticket of the local, progressive Human Rights Party (HRP), which had already succeeded in winning two Ann Arbor council seats in 1972.

Kozachenko's HRP predecessors on the city council, Nancy Wechsler and Jerry DeGrieck, had come out as a lesbian and gay man during their first and only terms on city council, thus becoming the first openly LGBT public-office holders in the United States. However, Wechsler and DeGrieck did not run for office as an open LGBT individual.[2][3]

Kozachenko served one two-year term before leaving politics. She would later meet her long-time partner, MaryAnn Geiger (who died in 2010), and have one son.[4]


  1. ^ Ron Schlittler (November 29, 2008). "Gay Officials Who Blazed Trails". Washington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ Larry Nichols (October 18, 2007). "Noble Woman: Elaine Nobel recalls pioneering politics". MetroWeekly (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ Stein, Marc (2012). Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement. Routledge. p. 107. 
  4. ^ Steve Friess (December 11, 2015). "The First Openly Gay Person to Win an Election in America Was Not Harvey Milk". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 13, 2015.