Politics

Republican Phil Scott Runs Away With Vermont Governor’s Race

YouTube screenshot/Vermont PBS

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Grace Carr Reporter

Vermont incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott beat his Democratic opponent Christine Hallquist by a wide margin Wednesday, after the polls confirmed a victory for the GOP gubernatorial candidate.

Scott beat Hallquist 57.1 percent to 38.5 percent, according to CNN Politics. Pollsters expected the race to be a bit tighter, and many in the media projected a “blue wave” that might help elect Hallquist, America’s first transgender person to run for a major political office.

Scott was one of the nation’s most popular governors with a 65 percent approval rating in 2018’s first quarter, but that rating nose-dived to a meager 5 percent in the second quarter after he signed a number of policies doubling down on gun control. The measures included expanded background checks, a ban on bump stocks, and increasing the legal age for gun purchasers to 21.

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Hallquist, the former CEO of Vermont Electric Co-Operative, is biologically male but identifies as a female. His gender identity became a focal point in the gubernatorial campaign for many liberal voters who hoped to elect a greater number of minorities at the midterms. (RELATED: Vermont Nominates First Transgender Gubernatorial Candidate For Major Party)

Hallquist ran largely on a platform addressing climate change and rural development. He also advocated for universal internet.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist concedes defeat to Phil Scott in Burlington, Vermont, U.S. Nov. 6, 2018. REUTERS/Caleb Kenna

Hallquist criticized capitalism ahead of the midterms and said in mid-August that he wasn’t sure what socialism is.

Vermont allows same-day registration, giving undecided and last-minute residents the ability to participate in the midterm elections.

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