Transgender Candidate Christine Hallquist Makes History in Vermont Primary

Larry Hoffman
August 15, 2018

The polls have closed in Vermont, where voters were picking nominees for governor, US Senate, and US House.

The Democrat who won Tuesday's gubernatorial primary in Vermont on Wednesday said she is proud to be the first transgender nominee of a major party for a governor's race.

Hallquist will face Republican Gov. Phil Scott in November.

She would be among the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress if she is successful in November.

Democrats are hoping for a "blue wave" in the midterm elections to regain control of at least one chamber of Congress. He's running for governor in Vermont.

"I think I'm the candidate who best represents the change we need", he told a televised town hall event earlier this month. "It is the era of Trump, and I'm just not a Trump-like politician".

Ms Hallquist defeated Ethan Sonneborn, 14, a schoolboy who was allowed to stand because the state's constitution has no age requirement for the governor's job. She had the endorsement of the state party, while those supporting Nicholson outspent her by as much as $8 million.

There were a number of other significant victories on Tuesday.

In another ground-breaking political moment, Somali-American state legislator Ilhan Omar claimed victory in her primary in Minnesota, putting her on track to become one of the first female Muslim members of the USA house of representatives. "Tonight we made history".

Jahana Hayes, who was named national teacher of the year in 2016, won the Democratic nomination in a western district of CT.

But as she told CNN in June, it was the public response to her transition that gave her the confidence to hit the campaign trail.

Hallquist, the former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative, defeated three other Democratic candidates in Tuesday's primary.

This year, 43 transgender candidates have run for political office at all levels in the United States, a lot of them Democrats but a few running as independents, for the Green Party or for nonpartisan offices, according to Logan Casey, a research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is appearing on the Democratic ballot, even though he's already registered to run in November as an independent.

In Minnesota, a key battleground state, Republicans opted for the party's county commissioner Jeff Johnson in the governor primary.

Republicans, for their part, pinned their hopes on a former Ryan aide, picking Bryan Steil, an attorney who is from a prominent family in the same hometown of Ryan, in a five-way primary.

Both she and Nicholson ran as strong supporters of President Donald Trump.

The Victory Fund calls Hallquist a "game changer".

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