Former Silverton mayor Stu Rasmussen — the country’s first openly transgender mayor — has died. He was 73 years old.

Rasmussen came out as transgender in 2008 when he was mayor of his hometown, Silverton, a small community east of Salem. He had previously served as mayor twice in the 1990s.

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Rasmussen used both he and she pronouns. His friends remember him as a tenacious engineer who loved all things TV and radio.

In 2013, a Seattle-based theater commissioned and premiered a musical based on his life, called “Stu for Silverton.”

Rasmussen died Wednesday and is survived by his longtime partner, Victoria Sage.

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