Vermont Democrats made Christine Hallquist the first openly transgender person to win a major party nomination for statewide office in US history as she clinched Tuesday's primary election for governor, reports Reuters.
She defeated three other Democrats on Tuesday and will take on incumbent Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, in the Nov 6 general election, unofficial results showed. "I think Vermont is a beacon of hope for the rest of the country," Hallquist said during an interview with Reuters. "This is what I call expanding our moral compass and that is what I think it represents."
The contest comes at a time of uncertainty for transgender rights, which expanded under the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama. They have been reversed under Republican President Donald Trump's administration, a victory for religious conservatives who only recognise traditional gender roles.
Transgender candidates are hoping to build on the breakthrough year of 2017, when at least 10 won office across the country at levels ranging from state legislator to zoning board - the most ever recorded.
This year, 43 transgender candidates have run for political office at all levels in the United States, most of them Democrats but a few running as independents, for the Green Party or for nonpartisan offices, according to Logan Casey, a research associate at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Hallquist is the first openly transgender candidate to win a major party nomination for governor or a statewide office of any kind.