Scott vs. Hallquist: AP calls both gubernatorial primaries

Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a podium following The Associated Press calling him the winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary race

It's time to energize the elephants

They include Alexandra Chandler, Massachusetts' first openly transgender candidate for Congress, and Kim Coco Iwamoto, who would be Hawaii's first transgender lieutenant governor if elected.

The Democratic primary in Vermont was a fairly sleepy affair, with no big-name contenders to block a first-time candidate such as Hallquist.

While the candidate admits she voted for current sitting governor Phil Scott, a Republican, in 2016, she said that the current political climate, and particularly the policies and practices of President Trump spurred her to run for the Democrats this year.

She enjoys name recognition as the former David Hallquist, the onetime chief executive of the Vermont Electric Cooperative who publicly transitioned to a female identity while leading the power utility in 2015. Hallquist points out that she's also an engineer, an innovator and a progressive.

'The whole world is looking at this as a historic moment for a transgender candidate, but that's not what Vermont looked at, ' Hallquist said.

FILE PHOTO: Vermont Democratic Party gubernatorial primary candidate Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman, speaks with Ben Watts and Nate Jarvis while campaigning on Church Street in Burlington, Vermont, U.S., August 8, 2018. Charlie Baker of MA and Larry Hogan of Maryland - and place him three spots from the bottom 10. Still, a poll in July by public media organizations in the state found two-thirds of Vermonters supported the law, and almost half of Democrats had a favourable opinion of Scott.

But Scott is still the favorite in the race, with Cook Political Report rating it "solid Republican".

"I tell people this isn't the hardest thing I ever did", she said in the days before the primary. "I think that my message and my platform transcend age". They are not going to elect me because of the fact that I'm transgender - that's the reality", Hallquist said, adding: "Obviously, nationwide it's significant, the first transgender governor.

Her transition was documented in a film made by her son Derek Hallquist called "Denial".

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