Hype Park resident Christine Hallquist won the Democratic primary in Vermont on Tuesday. This victory makes Hallquist the first transgender candidate to win a major political party’s nomination for governor.
The 62-year-old candidate is being backed by organizations like the Victory Fund. The Victory Fund, Fox News reports, is “a political action committee that backs LGBTQ candidates across the country.”
Despite this, Hallquist says, her transgender identity is not her platform. According to Fox News, Hallquist hopes to be elected for her desire to raise wages for workers, improve health care and advance education for children.
Hallquist believes that Vermonters are going to vote for her because they believe in her platform, not because she is transgender. Even still, the Victory Fund is calling Hallquist a “game changer.”
Hallquist, who was the CEO of Vermont Electric Co-operative since 2005, made her transition in 2015 from male to female and allowed her transition to be documented by various news outlets.
Earlier this year Hallquist quit her job at the Vermont Electric Co-operative in order to run in Vermont’s gubernatorial election. According to Fox News, Hallquist said “Gov. Phil Scott has ignored the interests of rural Vermonters.”
In Tuesday’s primary Hallquist defeated dance festival organizer Brenda Siegel, environmental activist James Ehlers, and a 14-year-old boy named Ethan Sonneborn who managed to get his name on the ballot because of a loophole in the state’s law that does not require candidates to be of voting age.
If Hallquist wins in November, she will be America’s first transgender governor.
Fox News reports that approximately 200 LGBTQ candidates are “expected to be on the November ballot across the country for state and federal office.” Among these candidates are Alexandra Chandler, the first openly transgender Congressional candidate for Massachusetts and Kim Coco Iwamoto, who, if elected, will be Hawaii's first transgender lieutenant governor. Like Hallquist, both are Democrats.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Sharon Mccutcheon