Metro

Christine Hallquist wins Democratic nomination for governor 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)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press
Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman and former electric company executive, applaudeds with her supporters during her election night party in Burlington, Vt.

A former utility executive from Vermont has become the first transgender candidate to win a major political party’s nomination for governor.

Christine Hallquist defeated three other Democrats in her victory in Tuesday’s primary.

The former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative says she’s running because she feels she has the best plan to help Vermont residents get higher-paying jobs, provide health care for their families and better educate their children.

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The 62-year-old Hallquist is part of a wave of LGBTQ candidates seeking higher office across the U.S.

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Hallquist is being supported by The Victory Fund, a political action committee that backs LGBTQ candidates across the country. The committed labeled her a ‘‘game changer.’’

Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott won his party’s nomination to run for a second term as the state’s top executive.

Scott angered many people in the GOP base for supporting a series of gun restrictions but on Tuesday defeated Springfield businessman Keith Stern, a perennial candidate who described himself as a conservative Republican and campaigned on financial issues.

Scott based his first term as governor on the premise of making the state more affordable by helping to balance the budget without raising taxes or fees. He supported gun restrictions after what law enforcement authorities said was a narrowly averted school shooting.

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Scott lost some voters with his gun stance but was supported by others who favored the restrictions.

Peter Welch, Vermont’s lone representative in the U.S. House, has won the Democratic nomination to seek re-election in November.

In Tuesday’s balloting, Welch defeated challengers Dan Freilich and Benjamin Mitchell.

Republicans H. Brooke Paige and Anya Tynio sought their party’s nomination to run for the U.S. House seat.

Since Welch was first elected to the House in 2006, he has consistently been one of Vermont’s most popular politicians, easily winning re-election every two years.

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Welch, traditionally one of the most liberal members of Congress, says Vermont residents must fight the disastrous policies of President Donald Trump.

Welch was elected to the U.S. House in 2006 after Bernie Sanders left the chamber to run for the U.S. Senate seat he now holds.

Bernie Sanders won Vermont’s Democratic Senate primary but is expected to turn down the nomination and support the state’s Democratic candidates, as is his practice.

In Tuesday’s balloting, Sanders defeated little-known candidate Folasade Adeluola, who says she believes Vermont needs a full-time senator.

Sanders is thought to be considering a presidential run in 2020. He already is on Vermont’s November ballot as an independent.

Under Vermont law he cannot appear on the November ballot as both a Democrat and an independent.

In his U.S. Senate races, in 2012 and 2006 he declined the nomination but accepted the formal endorsement of the state’s Democratic Party.