Christine Hallquist will be the first transgender candidate for Governor. The Victory Fund, a PAC that supports LBGT candidates, called her “a game changer.”
With 49 percent precincts in, the New York Times has called the race for the former energy company executive. She took 47 percent of Democratic votes in Tuesday’s primary.
“I tell people this isn’t the hardest thing I ever did. In fact, I think after transitioning everything else looks pretty easy,” Hallquist told the Guardian.
Hallquist remembered vividly being told by her mother to never admit her gender identity when she was 11 and dodging an exorcism in eighth grade. She went on to rise through the business world to be CEO of northern Vermont power company Vermont Electric Cooperative.
She would’ve eased from the business world into retirement if not for Trump’s election.
“November 8, 2016, I realized the world changed,” she said. “I went to bed, and of course like any other trauma I was in political depression and I just didn’t know what to do. I mean, many of us in this country shed a lot of tears for what happened on November 8.”
— Christine Hallquist (@christineforvt) August 14, 2018
Hallquist received guidance and support from transgender legislator Danica Roem from Virginia. She’s also based her campaign just downstairs from Bernie Sanders’ campaign office.
That’s no accident. Hallquist has a progressive agenda including Medicare-for-All, broadband access to remote Vermonters and a living wage.
“That’s how I want to be known in Vermont,” Hallquist, 62, told the Associated Press. “Nationally, I want to be known as the first trans candidate.”
Hallquist did not respond to GritPost’s request for comment prior to Tuesday’s election.
“Christine will be a historic figure if she wins the nomination, whether or not she becomes the governor,” said former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, president of the Victory Fund. “If she becomes the governor, she has the potential to be a role model for every trans kid in America.”
Christine Hallquist has a great chance at that. Current Republican Governor Phil Scott has seen a major drop in his popularity during his re-election campaign.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.