Transgender Vt. governor hopeful partly blames Trump administration for death threats

Christine Hallquist, the Democratic nominee for governor in Vermont, suggested that the Trump administration is partly to blame for the death threats she has been receiving after becoming the first openly transgender woman to win a major party’s nomination for governor.

"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,” Hallquist told Hill.TV in an interview that aired on Tuesday.

“We are a divided country — I land that squarely at the administration in Washington,” she continued.

Hallquist told ABC News last week that she had been receiving regular death threats, which were later condemned by her opponent, Gov. Phil Scott (R). 

But, during her interview with Hill.TV, she emphasized the threats do not scare her at all, citing "the thousands of people who have died for our freedom before us. We lay out lives on the line for a healthy Democracy.”

The Democratic candidate also said she was inspired to run for governor after Trump became president and she started seeing the impact it was having on other minorities in her home state. 

At first, Hallquist said she hoped Vermont would remain “insulated” from the rhetoric coming out of Washington.

But she said she soon had a wake-up call while attending a rally where she heard a young group of activists called “Muslim Girls Making Change” talk about the harassment they faced in the state.

“I cried and decided I will do everything I can to reverse the direction our state is headed in as well as our country,” she said.

Hallquist faces a tough uphill battle against incumbent Scott, who still holds a strong approval rating among Vermont voters.

— Tess Bonn