Out transgender candidate Christine Hallquist loses Vermont governor’s race

Christine Hallquist
Christine Hallquist Photo: Provided

Christine Hallquist, a transgender candidate for governor of Vermont, lost her bid against incumbent Phil Scott.

Hallquist, a relative newcomer to politics, would have been the first out transgender person to serve as Governor in the United States.

She is the former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative, and made history in 2015 when she became the first CEO in the country to publicly transition on the job.

Inspired by the activity she saw in response to Trump’s victory in 2018, most notably the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., Hallquist felt the time was right for her to run.

Related: Here’s what is at stake for transgender people in the midterm election

Due in large part to her involvement in the Vermont Electric Cooperative, Hallquist’s platform included a strong push towards renewable energy in Vermont. She also focused on high speed Internet, expanding Medicare, and fighting climate change.

She beat three other candidates in the primary, taking 40% of the vote, but after she began to receive death threats over her run, Hallquist had to change her strategy, changing her approach to campaign appearances and not publicizing the address of her campaign headquarters.

What’s more, she was up against a relatively popular incumbent. Her opponent also leans left on many social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage, and even signed a gender-neutral bathroom bill in support of transgender people. This may have led some who might otherwise have supported Hallquist willing to remain in Scott’s camp.

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