The 2018 election cycle was particularly exciting. Fueled by the desire for change, an astounding number of history-making wins were set into motion. One of those notches on the wheel of progression was Christine Hallquist's primary win to snag the Democratic nomination for Vermont's governor in August, making her the first transgender candidate to be nominated for governor by a major party in the United States. Even though she may not have clinched the governor title in Vermont, these tweets about Christine Hallquist's loss prove that she can rest easy knowing that she's inspired so many people across the world.
As the first transgender person to ever be running for governor, it's safe to say that Christine Hallquist had already made waves throughout the nation. Well, despite her historic run, it was announced late on Nov. 6 that Hallquist had lost her bid for governor to Republican candidate Phil Scott. That night, The Associated Press reported that Hallquist had claimed nearly 41 percent of the votes while Scott earned nearly 56 percent. With Hallquist's loss, this will mark Scott's second term as the governor for Vermont.
Even though Hallquist's loss might have been upsetting, her historic run truly made an impact on so many people. Following the news that she had conceded, Twitter immediately thanked Hallquist for her inspiring fight and relayed that this moment represented many more to come in American politics.
Back in August, Hallquist ran away with 47.6 percent of the vote in Vermont's Democratic primary, according to the Washington Post. She beat out — by a sizable margin — three other candidates, and her win put her in the race against Republican incumbent Phil Scott and on her way to possibly becoming the first openly transgender woman elected governor, according to The New York Times.
Even prior to Hallquist's road to an almost groundbreaking victory in Vermont, she was used to history-making moves. Before she dove into politics, Hallquist served as the CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative where she openly transitioned — becoming the first-ever C-level executive to do so, according to CNN. In fact, Hallquist credits the positive response to her journey as responsible for her venture into politics. Hallquist told CNN in June,
I was sure I was going to lose my job. I was sure I was going to lose respect. But that didn't happen. So this describes the beauty of Vermont. Now I'm at this point where I can't do enough to give back to Vermont.
But it wasn't just the desire to give back to Vermont that propelled her to run for office. In a Oct. 29 interview with GQ, Hallquist said that she was inspired at the 2018 Women's March in Vermont's capital, Montpelier. After seeing four high school students in hijabs perform poetry about the discrimination and harassment they experience on a daily basis, Hallquist knew she had to do something. She told GQ,
I realized this is not the world I want to live in, and I'm going to do everything I can to change it. Leave my job, leave everything, and before I leave this earth, I'm going to do everything I can to bring us back to our aspirational selves.
It wasn't just talk. Within weeks Hallquist had stepped down as CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative and threw her hat into Vermont's gubernatorial race, according to GQ.
Hallquist wasn't alone in her push for change, nor was she the only transgender person to run for office in the 2018 election cycle. Alexandra Chandler, who transitioned while serving in the Office of Naval Intelligence, ran for the Democratic nomination to represent Massachusetts' 3rd District in Congress in September, according to The Washington Post. Even though Chandler didn't win the primary, she still made history as the first transgender person on a Massachusetts ballot which is groundbreaking on its own. Another trans candidate who made history without snagging the primary win was Kim Coco Iwamoto, a lawyer who ran for lieutenant governor in Hawaii in August but lost the bid, according to The New York Times.
Hallquist's groundbreaking run, along with other transgender candidates, proves that there's definitely change in the air.