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Midgelle Regina Potts (born Mitchell Eugene Potts), known as Midge Potts, is a transgender peace activist and Navy veteran who ran as a Progressive Party (Green Party) candidate in the 2010 Missouri Senate election. Potts has primarily been associated with Code Pink, which gained media attention in 2007 after appearing in the background during Valerie Plame's testimony before a House panel on March 16, 2007. Potts sat a few rows behind Plame and wore a shirt labeled "Impeach Bush Now." Plame was seen looking back at Potts after her testimony. Photos of the protest appeared almost immediately on the Drudge Report and Potts was interviewed the following afternoon on CNN.
Potts was born Mitchell Eugene Potts in Gainesville, Missouri.
Potts served aboard the destroyer tender USS Yosemite (AD-19) off the coast of Kuwait during the Gulf War. It was there that Potts was exposed to evaporated mercury in an engine room aboard the ship, and was offered an honorable discharge after failing to get treatment. She now lives off of Social Security disability benefits.
After her discharge Potts reportedly married and fathered a child, before divorcing in 2003. After the divorce, Potts began living as a woman full-time, and while she began her transition by taking supplements to alter her body's hormones to be more female, she underwent conventional hormone therapy.
On February 9, 2005, Potts was arrested on the lower steps of the Supreme Court, along with two other DC Anti-War Network activists, David Barrows and Pete Perry. The three were protesting the United States government's alleged use of torture at places such as Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay detention camp, as well as the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General. Later that same year, she was arrested with Cindy Sheehan and about 370 others in front of the White House protesting the war and occupation of Iraq.
She unsuccessfully ran in Missouri's primary for the 7th District Congressional seat as a Republican in 2006 against incumbent Republican Congressman Roy Blunt. Potts received 4294 votes which equated to 7.2 percent of the vote in the Republican primary in the southwest Missouri district. In April 2008, Potts officially became a member the Progressive Party of Missouri which is an affiliate of the Green Party of the United States. At the PPMO annual meeting in May 2008, she was chosen to be one of two state co-coordinators heading up the Progressive Party of Missouri's five-person steering committee, and was also chosen as a Missouri delegate for the Green Party of the United States.
After losing her bid for Southwest Missouri's Congressional seat, Potts returned to Washington, D.C. and began attending Congressional hearings to protest the Iraq War. The first instance in which she was part of a disruption was on January 30, 2007, when she was helping to hold a banner that said "END THE BACK DOOR DRAFT" behind Tina Richards, mother of a twice deployed U.S. Marine, in a Senate Judiciary sub-committee hearing. The next day, January 31, 2007, Potts interrupted the testimony of Henry Kissinger in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by standing and yelling, "The American people voted to end the war in Iraq" which was caught on video by CBS News. In February 2007, Potts was arrested twice for protesting inside the halls of Congress; first, she was arrested, along with Kathy Kelly and 9 others, for participating in non-violent civil disobedience protesting the US Occupation of Iraq in Senator John McCain's office; the next week Potts was arrested after yelling "The American People Voted Against the War" from the visitors gallery in the US Senate during a rare Saturday session in which the Senators were debating President George W. Bush's proposed troop surge. On April 19, 2007, Potts was captured by a New York Times photographer unfurling a banner behind Alberto Gonzales during the US Attorney General's testimony in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. About a month later a picture was published in USA TODAY of Midge Potts standing behind Secretary of Defense Gates while she held a sign that read END THE WAR. In April 2008, Potts interrupted Senator McCain's opening statement in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing by standing on her chair and holding up a banner that read "There is no military solution" behind General David Petraeus; photos of the incident appeared in The Washington Times and several other publications.
Since 2007, she has lectured at universities on her expertise of transcending traditional politics.
Potts announced on June 27, 2009, that she would run for the seat being vacated by retiring senator Kit Bond in 2010. Potts had no recordable votes in that election. On March 23, 2015, Potts announced on Facebook possibly seeking another attempt at the Senate seat by stating "Last week, I made an announcement on several Green Party Fb pages stating that I have firmly decided to NOT SEEK THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION in 2016, and instead will most likely run for US Senator against Republican incumbant [sic], Roy Blunt, in my home state of Missouri."
On November 5, 2009, Potts was arrested in Washington, D.C. with eight other universal health care advocates demanding that Senator Joe Lieberman stop accepting campaign contributions from the insurance industry. The ABC News footage showed her being arrested, and caught her saying, "Health care is a human right" as she was being led away from the senator's office in the Hart building on Capitol Hill.
Potts has had a series of arrests for crimes including trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia since May 2013. Potts can be seen in mugshots from these arrests with a beard and the appearance of being a male. Potts pleaded guilty to Unlawful Use Of Drug Paraphernalia on June 26, 2015, in Greene County, Missouri, in case No. 1331-CR06828. Midge Potts used her male birth name of Mitchell Eugene Potts in this case.
- "Midge Potts seeks change". Columbia Daily Tribune. April 16, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-10-25. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- Alexander, David (April 7, 2007). "Transgender Navy vet protests war in Congress". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-04-11.[dead link]
- Kabel, Marcus (April 16, 2006). "Blunt's Bane: Transgender candidate answers call". Missouri Leadership. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
- CNN (May 19, 2006) U.N.: Gitmo violates world torture ban http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/19/un.torture/index.html retrieved, 03-18-2008
- "Official Election Returns: State of Missouri Primary Election, Tuesday, August 08, 2006". Missouri Secretary of State. August 23, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
- "Midge Potts Announces She Will Run For Missouri's US Senate Seat". Green Party. 2009-06-27. Retrieved 27 November 2009.