Transgender Candidate Makes History in Vermont

Hallquist's victory praised as a 'defining moment'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2018 1:56 AM CDT
Transgender Candidate Makes History in Vermont
Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman and former electric company executive, applauds with her supporters during her election night party in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In a historic moment for the transgender rights movement, former power company exec Christine Hallquist won the Democratic primary for Vermont governor Tuesday, becoming the first transgender candidate from a major party to win a gubernatorial primary. Hallquist, who transitioned from male to female in 2015, was chief executive of the Vermont Electric Cooperative before entering politics, the New York Times reports. Annise Parker of the LGBTQ Victory Fund praised the victory as a "defining moment," though she added that Hallquist won "not because of her gender identity, but because she is an open and authentic candidate ... who speaks to the issues most important to voters." In other results:

  • Vermont also nominated Sen. Bernie Sanders to seek a third term, the AP reports. He won the Democratic primary, but is expected to run as an independent again.
  • In Minnesota, Sen. Tina Smith defeated Richard Painter, George W. Bush's former ethics counsel, in the Democratic primary, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. In November, she will face Republican state Sen. Karin Housley in a race to decide who will finish the last two years of former Sen. Al Franken's term.

  • Rep. Keith Ellison has won the Democratic primary for Minnesota attorney general despite allegations of domestic violence involving an ex-girlfriend that surfaced days before the election, the Washington Post reports. He placed far ahead of the other four candidates in the race, and is expected to face Republican former state lawmaker Doug Wardlow in November.
  • In Wisconsin, Democrat Tony Evers won an eight-way gubernatorial primary and promised to end Republican Gov. Scott Walker's "reign of terror," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Walker, who is seeking a third term, cruised to victory in the GOP primary.
  • Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who once called President Trump "unhinged and unfit for the presidency," was trying to get his old job back but lost the GOP primary to pro-Trump candidate Jeff Johnson, the AP reports.
  • Former National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes won the Democratic primary for the House seat being vacated by scandal-plagued Rep. Elizabeth Esty, the Hartford Courant reports. If she wins in November, Hayes will be the first black Democrat from New England elected to the House.
(More Election 2018 stories.)

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