Primary Election Results: Christine Hallquist Wins Vermont Governor Nomination, More Democrats Win Big Races
Democrats won big primary elections in Vermont, Minnesota, Connecticut and Wisconsin on Tuesday, and of the victors was a transgender woman who could make history should she be elected governor.
Christine Hallquist, the former CEO of Vermont Electric Coop, could become the nation’s first openly transgender governor after winning the Democratic nomination on Tuesday night. Hallquist will face Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott in November’s midterms.
Here are the other big winners from this week’s primaries:
Tony Evers — a former teacher who is now a state superintendent — won the Democratic nomination for governor, thus setting him up to face incumbent GOP Gov. Scott Walker in November. Evers defeated former state lawmaker Kelda Roys and firefighters union leader Mahlon Mitchell after earning 41.7% of all votes.
In the Senate GOP primary, state Sen. Leah Vukmir beat Kevin Nicholson, a former Democrat. Vukmir — who had support from the state’s Republican party and House Speaker Paul Ryan — beat Nicholson despite her opponent having received $10 million in campaign contributions from a mega-donor. Vukmir will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who easily own her primary, in the midterms.
Moderate Rep. Tim Walz won the Democratic gubernatorial primary in a district President Donald Trump won by 15% in 2016. Meanwhile, former GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty shockingly lost his bid for governor in the Republican primary to Jeff Johnson, a county commissioner and former state lawmaker. Johnson won with 52.6% of the vote, while Pawlenty took 43.9%.
Rep. Keith Ellison — the Deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee — won the primary for attorney general, and could thus become the first Muslim in the country to hold such an position. Ellison’s bid was marked by controversy due to recently surfaced allegations that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend.
Meanwhile, 36-year-old state congresswoman Ilhan Omar won the Democratic primary to succeed Ellison as a U.S. Rep. in the Fifth Congressional District. Omar could thus become the country’s first Somali-American U.S. Rep.
Former banking executive Bob Stefanowski beat five Republican challengers to win the state’s GOP gubernatorial primary. The state’s current Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy faces dismal approval ratings.
On the Democratic side, businessman Ned Lamont — who beat Sen. Joe Lieberman in a primary in 2006 — won the race for governor.
Meanwhile, teacher Jahana Hayes won the Democratic nomination to replace Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty in the Fifth Congressional District. Should Hayes win, she would become the first African-American Democrat to represent the state in Congress. She beat veteran politician Mary Glassman.