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At Least 400 LGBT Candidates Vowing Political Wave This Campaign Season

Katie Hill, a Democrat running for California's 25th Congressional District, speaks in Newhall, Calif.

Wearing a “tasteful maroon lace and sequin dress” and “surrounded by a plaid and denim-clad crowd,” the Vermont Digger reported, Christine Hallquist launched her campaign for governor of Vermont.

Hallquist is the first transgender gubernatorial candidate in the nation. She faces two other Dems in the Vermont August primary — one, a middle-school student.

The fact that she is a transgender woman comes as no surprise to voters. Hallquist, a former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative, moved from one gender to another in a very public way a few years ago. Now, Hallquist, a Democrat, hopes voters are ready to put her transition aside.

“I don’t want people to vote for me because I’m transgender, or write me off because I’m transgender,” she said.

However, Hallquist is one of two dozen candidates endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, in large part, because they are not straight.

“Vermont gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist will become the first transgender gubernatorial nominee of a major American political party if she defeats her three primary opponents in August,” read the LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsement, which awarded Hallquist “Game Changer” status.

“With a November election win, she would become the first out trans person to serve as governor, and just the second openly LGBTQ governor ever elected,” the Victory Fund announcement added.

While we have heard much of the Blue (Democrat) Wave and the Pink (Women) Wave of candidates, the Washington Post raised the possibility in an article on political spouses that the U.S. is also in the midst of an LGBTQ political wave.

After all, Hallquist is only one of close to 400 gay, lesbian and transgender candidates running for political offices in 2018, according to the Victory Fund.

Six of seven of the Victory Fund-endorsed candidates won their Pennsylvania primary elections May 15. In addition, three other candidates backed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund PAC — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon state Rep. Karin Power and Idaho state Rep. John McCrostie — were victorious in their primary races.

A month later, at least 14 Victory Fund-endorsed candidates advanced or won in the June 5 primaries.

Katie Hill, an openly bisexual congressional candidate, advanced to California’s November ballot, where she will take on Republican Rep. Steve Knight in the state’s 25th District.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who is also the president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, called Knight an “anti-LGBTQ incumbent.”

“Katie’s victory sets up a general election battle between her positive, solutions-oriented vision for the district and the politics of hate and destruction her opponent thrives on,” Parker said in a statement. “Steve Knight and his family made careers out of attacking LGBTQ people and working to roll back equal rights.”

Hallquist might like to see her sexuality pushed to the background, but Hill said on her campaign website that her sexuality has and will play a role in her campaign. LGBTQ rights are part of her platform.