Since Trump’s shocking triumph in the 2016 presidential elections, a lot of changes have occurred in America. So much so that for the midterm and general elections, some unconventional candidates have emerged.
This week Christine Hallquist, 62, won her Democratic primary race in Vermont, becoming the first transgender candidate nominated for governor by a major political party in the United States. After defeating her opponents, the first-time candidate will now be facing off against Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who gained both hate and recognition by signing gun-control bills. Hallquist began her transitioning journey in 2015, after deciding she didn’t want to live in denial any longer. Her campaign pledges to improve energy, infrastructure, and internet access, all of which have been severely lacking in some parts of the state.
Wearing a knee-length skirt, a black blouse, and a red cardigan, the transgender woman addressed her supporters at her victory speech.
“I’m incredibly honored to have your support. Tonight we made history,” said Hallquist. “I’m so honored to be part of this historical moment.”
The Muslim community has had a notable presence in this year’s general elections. In Minnesota Ilhan Omar, 35, won the Democratic primary for a House seat, and in Detroit Rashida Tlaib, 42, won the nomination as well. Winning in in the upcoming elections would make them the first Muslim women in Congress.
Although born in Somalia, Omar was brought to the US at the age of 12 after spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya. The Somali-American politician describes herself as being the president’s nightmare and is very adamant about not letting him proceed with his agenda. Her agenda includes Medicare-for-all, a $15 minimum wage, and tuition-free college.
A very peculiar addition to the diversity wave we are witnessing was 14-year-old Ethan Sonneborn, who shocked many when he announced he was running for governor of Vermont – the states’ constitution doesn’t have an age requirement to be able to have your name on the ballot. He believes that people should control the government, not vice versa. Sonneborn spent his summer break campaigning and sitting at the table alongside his opponents and while he didn’t make it to the finals, he proved that age is just a number and that the youth is more involved than ever.
What these new developments show is that no matter what your sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, or age may be, you have a voice in this country. Progress and change can be beneficial for everyone, and diversity should be embraced so that those who live here can feel represented and be heard. If you want your voice to be heard, make sure to go out and vote this midterm election. Register, show up, and vote! #BeOutLoud
For a guide to what you need to know for this political season, take a look at our article detailing the upcoming election.
by Cynthia P. Bautista