A transgender woman has become the first trans person to win the nomination of a party for major political office.
Christine Hallquist won a clear majority in the Democratic primary for the Governorship on Tuesday, besting three other candidates.
The progressive candidate picked up 48.4 percent of the vote, more than double her nearest rival’s 22.1 percent.By winning the Democratic nomination, she will now face off against Republican incumbent Governor Phil Scott in November’s gubernatorial election.
The primary result has been hailed as a victory by LGBT+ activists. Although Hallquist’s primary victory is a historic first, her gender identity was barely a factor in her campaign, which focused largely on local issues.
She also has the backing of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in November.
Accepting the nomination, she said: “I must say I’m incredibly honoured, incredibly honoured to have all your support. Tonight we made history.”
She joins three other openly LGBT+ gubernatorial candidates who have the Democratic nomination this cycle – including incumbent Governor of Oregon Kate Brown of Oregon, Jared Polis of Colorado, and Lupe Valdez of Texas.
Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said: “The DNC is proud to congratulate Christine Hallquist, Vermont’s Democratic nominee for governor and the country’s first-ever openly transgender nominee for governor, along with all of tonight’s Democratic nominees in the Green Mountain State.
“Christine’s historic victory tonight is an inspiration to LGBTQ people everywhere, and we are excited to stand behind her and the entire slate of fantastic Democratic nominees in Vermont.
“There’s no doubt that Christine and her fellow nominees will join a strong ticket this November that will fight for our values and serve as dedicated advocates for Vermont’s working families.
“Vermont voters know that Democrats have their backs and share their values, and they’re ready to organize to turn more seats blue this November.”
Annise Parker of the LGBTQ Victory Fund said: “Christine’s victory is a defining moment in the movement for trans equality and is especially remarkable given how few out trans elected officials there are at any level of government.
“Many thought it unthinkable a viable trans gubernatorial candidate like Christine would emerge so soon.
“Yet Vermont voters chose Christine not because of her gender identity, but because she is an open and authentic candidate with a long history of service to the state, and who speaks to the issues most important to voters.”
She added: “Christine’s business experience and progressive vision for Vermont means she’s perfectly-positioned to take on Governor Scott – whose approval numbers continue to plunge because of his inability to manage the state government and his failed attempts to hide his conservative policy positions.
“When voters head to the polls this November, we are confident Vermonters will make her the first openly trans governor in the nation and just the second openly LGBTQ person elected governor in American history.
“Christine often attributes Vermonters’ accepting her gender identity to the hard work and bravery of LGBTQ pioneers who came before her – those at Stonewall, the Harvey Milks, and other courageous activists.
“Now, Christine is a pioneer deserving of that appreciation. Her authenticity, poise and presence on the campaign trail will undoubtedly inspire more trans people to pursue their dreams of a career in elected office, and that will inevitably change America and the world.”
The election will take place on November 6, 2018.