A Vermont Democrat has become the first transgender gubernatorial nominee for a major political party in the United States.
According to The Associated Press and state election returns, Christine Hallquist, 62, of Hyde Park, won the nomination with 48.3 percent of votes and will face Republican Gov. Phil Scott in November.
Here's what we know about Hallquist:
1. She is a former utility executive. Hallquist was chief executive officer of the Vermont Electric Co-op from 2005 to early 2018, according to her campaign website and LinkedIn profile. She started working for the co-op as an engineering and technology consultant in 1998, then became engineering and operations manager two years later.
2. She ran on a progressive platform. Hallquist supports efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, institute paid family and medical leave, and "ban on the sale of so-called assault weapons," Vermont Public Radio reported. Another one of Hallquist's goals is to "work with like-minded states to lay the groundwork for a universal health care system," her campaign website says. She also wants to "connect every home and business in Vermont with fiber-optic cable" so everyone has access to high-speed internet, according to the site. Learn more here or here.
3. Hallquist is married and has three children. According to Politico, she was formerly known as Dave and grew up in upstate New York. In 1976, she moved to Vermont, "first living in Essex Junction, and then settling with her spouse Pat in 1984 in Hyde Park next to the Green River Reservoir," her campaign website says.
4. She transitioned three years ago as her son, Derek, was filming a documentary about her. "While in the process of filming 'Denial' in 2015, Christine made the decision, after years of holding it inside, to come out as her true self, a transgender woman, becoming the first business leader in the country to transition while in office," Hallquist's campaign website says. Learn more about the documentary here.
5. Prominent progressives, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, tweeted their support for Hallquist after her victory Tuesday night. See some of their tweets below:
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