Transgender candidate Christine Hallquist ‘blames Trump’ for death threats and abuse

Christine Hallquist lost her bid to become Governor of Vermont

Christine Hallquist, who could become America’s first transgender state Governor, has blamed the Trump administration for an influx of abuse and death threats.

Democrats voted to pick Hallquist as their candidate for Governor of Vermont ahead of the November election.

Her campaign has largely focused on local issues, but the candidate says she has experienced an influx of abusive messages and death threats after becoming the Democratic candidate.

Vermont Democratic gubernatorial nominee Christine Hallquist (Hillary Swift/Getty)

Speaking to The Hill, she said: “I told the campaign team right in the beginning that if we’re successful and the more successful we get, the more hatred, the more vitriol and more death threats would occur.

“I think it’s a natural outcome of where our country is today. We are a divided country… I land that squarely at the administration in Washington.

“I also would address that the national Republican party is focused on division rather than unit, and using division and feat to get elected.

“We’re going the opposite direction, and focusing on aspiration and hope. We’re growing jobs and raising wages.”

Hallquist says she isn’t intimidated by the threats.

She added: “I should tell you, it doesn’t scare me at all. I think about the thousands of people who have died for freedom before us.

“We lay our lives on the line for a healthy democracy. I hope that several years from now we can look back and say that 2018 was the year we made history in America.”

Her opponent in the race, the incumbent Governor Phil Scott, has condemned threats against his opponent.

Vermont Democratic gubernatorial nominee Christine Hallquist (Hillary Swift/Getty)

Scott said: “We must – as a society – do better to combat anger and violence.

“I’m hopeful Vermonters will join me in ensuring everyone –  regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other characteristics – are treated with dignity, respect and acceptance.”

Her run has attracted support from the LGBT+ community, with the Human Rights Campaign this week endorsing Hallquist.

HRC President Chad Griffin said: “Christine Hallquist is poised to make history as the next governor of Vermont.

“From civil rights to healthcare to government accountability, on issue after issue, Hallquist is committed to making Vermont an even stronger, more vibrant and inclusive state.

“HRC is proud to endorse Hallquist’s historic bid for governor, and we are working to turn out tens of thousands of fair-minded voters to the polls for her this November. We look forward to working closely with Christine Hallquist as the next governor of the Green Mountain State.”

Hallquist said: “When I first transitioned to my authentic self, I would not have believed that I would become Vermont’s Democratic nominee for governor. Many people before me have fought to make my historic story possible.

“While I am honored to blaze the trail, I hope that one day it will be no question that LGBTQ members of our communities belong in political office.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored that the Human Rights Campaign, and HRC President Chad Griffin, have joined me to celebrate this occasion, and I am excited to continue working with the Human Rights Campaign as Governor of Vermont.”

Hallquist is also backed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

Victory Fund head Annise Parker said: “Christine is an open and authentic candidate with a long history of service to the state, and who speaks to the issues most important to voters.

“Christine’s business experience and progressive vision for Vermont means she’s perfectly-positioned to take on Governor Scott – whose approval numbers continue to plunge because of his inability to manage the state government and his failed attempts to hide his conservative policy positions.

“When voters head to the polls this November, we are confident Vermonters will make her the first openly trans governor in the nation and just the second openly LGBTQ person elected governor in American history.

“Christine often attributes Vermonters’ accepting her gender identity to the hard work and bravery of LGBTQ pioneers who came before her – those at Stonewall, the Harvey Milks, and other courageous activists.

“Now, Christine is a pioneer deserving of that appreciation. Her authenticity, poise and presence on the campaign trail will undoubtedly inspire more trans people to pursue their dreams of a career in elected office, and that will inevitably change America and the world.”