Vermont's Christine Hallquist won her Democratic primary on Tuesday, making her the first transgender gubernatorial nominee from a major party in USA history.
David Hallquist was chief executive of the Vermont Electric Cooperative before publicly transitioning to a female identity while leading the power utility in 2015.
Until Tuesday the race hadn't drawn much attention even within the state, but polls suggested Hallquist had the highest name recognition on the Democratic side. He said: "I think I'm the candidate who best represents the change we need". "I went to bed, and of course like any other trauma I was in political depression and I just didn't know what to do".
Hallquist has also said she 'would work toward universal primary care in Vermont and pursue a coalition of states to pursue a "Medicare for all" system'.
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".
She will face incumbent Gov. Phil Scott in November, whose approval ratings with his GOP base have tumbled following recent efforts to tighten gun control in Vermont.
The first-term governor, who was elected in 2016 and is facing a primary challenge, saw his stock plummet between the first and second quarters of the year. Charlie Baker of MA and Larry Hogan of Maryland - and place him three spots from the bottom 10.
Before Vermont's election, only four transgender candidates had won primaries in 2018, all for house and senate seats in state legislatures, and have a general election ahead.
'And no one agrees with their friends all the time, but as our success shows we can make a lot of good progress when we have clear priorities and we pull in the same direction, ' Scott said. When asked if the numbers surprised her, Hallquist declined to answer the question directly - denouncing the idea of political "labels" while calling for universal healthcare and living wages for all. "Working to ensure that Vermont remains the special, inclusive and progressive place that it has always been, not only for her children and grandchildren, but also for future generations of Vermonters, is what motivates Christine to seek the honor and opportunity to serve the people of Vermont as its next governor". "In fact, I think after transitioning everything else looks pretty easy".