Hallquist considering run for governor

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont Electric Cooperative CEO Christine Hallquist says she is considering a run for governor.

Christine Hallquist-File photo

"I want to run because I love Vermont," Hallquist said.

She says she sees Vermont's values slipping away.

"I believe we are seeing overreach of the federal government. It's all about those policies of creating enemies, going after the oppressed and I don't want to see that happen in Vermont," Hallquist said.

Hallquist is transgender. If she gets the nod from Democrats in the August primary, she says her gender identity will not be the focus of her campaign.

"Look at my record, look at what I've done. I'm not asking for people to be comfortable with me being transgender. I am a leader who happens to be transgender," Hallquist said.

She'll instead focus on ensuring Vermont remains at the forefront of civil rights. Part of Hallquist's platform will include exploring cheaper ways to provide health care and fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

"If we look at the inflation from the late '60s, our minimum wage would be $22 right now. I don't think it's a question of if we're going to do $15 an hour, it's a question of when," Hallquist said.

Hallquist lives in Johnson. She wants to see rural Vermont get more attention from Montpelier.

"Rural Vermont is not recovering like Chittenden County. We're not seeing the recovery in the Northeast Kingdom and the other areas of Vermont. It's a microcosm of what's going on in the nation," Hallquist said.

Hallquist says she will make her final decision by Feb. 20. She is using this time to gauge interest in her campaign around the state and tells us she has the support of her VEC board.

If she decides to run, she will have competition in the Democratic primary. James Ehlers and Ethan Sonneborn have already announced their candidacy for governor. The winner would take on incumbent Republican Phil Scott.