Democratic primary voters in Vermont selected out transgender woman Christine Hallquist as their nominee for governor, making her the first out trans person to be the gubernatorial nominee of a major American political party. It is a historic moment in a historic election cycle, with three other openly LGBTQ candidates who received the Democratic nomination for governor this cycle – Kate Brown of Oregon, Jared Polis of Colorado, and Lupe Valdez of Texas.
Christine bested four primary opponents with a strong campaign organization and robust ground game while running on her extensive experience as CEO of a Vermont electric utility company. Christine, who already made history as the first CEO of a major corporation to transition on the job, will become the first openly trans person to serve as governor of a U.S. state and the second openly LGBTQ person ever elected governor, if she wins in November.
“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,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “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.
“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.”
Currently, 13 openly trans people are serving in elected office in the United States – and Victory Fund has endorsed seven this election cycle. With a win in November, Christine will be the highest-ranking openly trans elected official in the U.S.