Ketchum stays humble while making national headlines


WHEELING, W.Va (WTRF) Rosemary Ketchum—it’s a name we are all well familiar with by this point. From the Wheeling spotlight, to the state, and across the nation – Rosemary has made a name for herself. But she humbly says it wasn’t expected.  

When Rosemary was elected as the council person for Wheeling’s third ward—she made headlines as the first openly transgender person elected in the State of West Virginia, and one of the first nationwide. She says national news was not on her radar, and she ran to make a difference.

Her goal? To simply use her platform to start conversations about inequality and homelessness among several other things… AND to create a new perception for outsiders looking in to the Mountain State.  

I think one of the most important things that we have to do here in the state of West Virginia, and particularly Wheeling, is change the narrative of what it looks like to be a West Virginian. Who we are, what we believe, and how we live. I think that the small amount of media attention that I’ve received here locally, but some more nationally, helps aid in that task of reimagining what West Virginia looks like, who lives here, and who represents the state.


She says West Virginia has a lot to offer and hopes her work in Wheeling exemplifies the state. As for the attention, she says there will always be trolls, but the good greatly outweighs the bad.

And her future? Well—she has four years to figure out her next step, but she is not ruling out a higher office out yet.  

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