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Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Christine Hallquist 'Proud And Honored' To Make History With Gubernatorial Primary Win

Christine Hallquist embraces a supporter at her election night party in Burlington
Charles Krupa
Associated Press
Vermont Democratic gubernatorial nominee Christine Hallquist, center, hugs a supporter at her election night party in Burlington on Tuesday. Hallquist is the first openly transgender major party candidate for governor in U.S. history.

For the first time in history, an openly transgender woman is a major party candidate for governor: Vermont voters chose former utility executive Christine Hallquist as the Democratic nominee for governor in the primary election.

She'll face incumbent Gov. Phil Scott in November, who easily won the Republican gubernatorial nomination Tuesday.

"I'm proud and honored to be making history. ... We're going to continue to take steps to expand the country's moral compass," Hallquist told VPR Wednesday morning.

More from VPR — Hallquist Notches Historic Win In Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

Hallquist also addressed some of the campaign issues she ran on — including a $15 minimum wage, paid family leave bills and Medicare for all — which seemed to resonate with Democratic voters.

“The working class hasn't received a wage [increase] in over 30 years ... And that's most of Vermont," she said. "You know, I traveled all through Vermont the past couple days and rural Vermont is suffering."

Hallquist noted that the economy needs to grow to pay for these platforms.

"A good leader has a vision that goes beyond the governor and beyond even the governor's lifetime," she said.

Listen above to Hallquist's conversation with VPR Morning Edition host Mitch Wertlieb.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
Bayla joined VPR in 2018 as the producer for Morning Edition. She left in 2019.
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