CD 8 special election: Get to know Brianna Westbrook

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Brianna Westbrook is a sales manager at Arrowhead Honda in Peoria, where she’s worked for the past 12 years. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Brianna Westbrook is a sales manager at Arrowhead Honda in Peoria, where she’s worked for the past 12 years. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
An Arizona native, Westbrook was born a boy. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) An Arizona native, Westbrook was born a boy. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A big-time Oakland Raiders fan, Westbrook contends she can throw a football nearly 60 yards and can proudly beat her co-workers in arm wrestling. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A big-time Oakland Raiders fan, Westbrook contends she can throw a football nearly 60 yards and can proudly beat her co-workers in arm wrestling. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
She’s a lover of hiking, history and football. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) She’s a lover of hiking, history and football. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A love of cars drove Brianna Westbrook to a career in the auto business.

She’s a sales manager at Arrowhead Honda in Peoria, where she’s worked for the past 12 years.

On a sunny day in February, she took Arizona's Family along for a test drive, something she hasn’t done in a long time.

“I put a shirt and tie on, walked into that dealership we're passing right now, and got hired on, on the spot,” described Westbrook. “After getting hired, I went on a streak of seven months of top sales performer in the store.”

[MORE: Special election for Arizona's Congressional District 8]

She describes herself as hard-working and reliable, just like the cars she sells.

“I am generally the first person at work and the last person to leave,” explains Westbrook.

Today, the 33-year-old congressional candidate is a long way from the shirt and tie.

[VIDEO: Views of Brianna Westbrook described as very liberal]

Westbrook explains, “I first didn't feel connected with who I was when I was about 5 years old,”

An Arizona native, Westbrook was born a boy. She recalls the tough times growing up, often times dumpster diving and living on food stamps.

“I grew up in chaos,” she says.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

Those humble beginnings helped shape her drive for a better future. Westbrook got married right out of high school and had a little girl, but it wasn’t long before she started to acknowledge something was off.

“I didn't know until like my mid-20s and then I started admitting to myself who I really was,” said Westbrook.

That’s when she made a life-changing decision and walked into the Peoria dealership a woman five years ago.

“You only get one life and you gotta live your one life to the fullest and live authentically,” explains Westbrook. “The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was come out to my family and friends and come out to my daughter."

Her daughter is 13.

“She calls me ‘dad’ sometimes. She calls me ‘Bri.’ In my free time, my daughter and I do a lot of hiking,” said Westbrook.

She’s a lover of hiking, history and football.

A big-time Oakland Raiders fan, Westbrook contends she can throw a football nearly 60 yards and can proudly beat her co-workers in arm wrestling.

It’s that competitive spirit that’s fueling her fight in the race for Washington.

"I've been at the lowest points of society and worked my way to where I'm at now. Being 33 years old and everything I’ve been through gives me an edge that representatives typically don't have," she said.

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