The Minnesota rep who faced heat for tweeting that identifying as transgender is a "mental health condition" says it wasn't about the historic elections results in Minneapolis.
Rep. Mary Franson, a Republican from Alexandria, tweeted the morning of Nov. 8: "A guy who thinks he's a girl is still a guy with a mental health condition."
Franson never actually mentioned a specific person's name.
But the now-deleted tweet came hours after Andrea Jenkins became the first openly trans candidate to win a council seat in a major city, with her victory in Minneapolis' Ward 8 the night of Nov. 7. (A second openly transgender candidate, Phillipe Cunningham, was announced the winner of the Minneapolis Ward 4 seat after Franson's tweet.)
Some groups took it as a reaction to what had happened in Minneapolis.
But Franson, in a comment to the Alexandria Echo Press, says that wasn't the case – she ascribed the controversy to "fake news," but didn't explain what prompted the tweet if it wasn't the Minneapolis city council results.
That's similar to what Franson has suggested in follow-up tweets.
In another, she said: "You can’t just name some name and say I “attacked” that particular person. Keyboard warrior away ✌️"
Franson is now in her fourth term representing her west-central Minnesota district, after winning re-election in 2016 handily.
She has previously co-sponsored a bill barring transgender employees from using communal bathrooms, opposes marriage equality, and signed a letter supporting North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ laws.