By Liam Stack Oct. 17, 2018
“BARRE, Vt. — Christine Hallquist is the first transgender person to be nominated for governor by a major party, and she knows people are interested in hearing her life story.
She is more than happy to tell it, but the thing she really wants to talk about is the electric grid.
“The foundation of all humanity, way back to the beginning, has been energy,” she said, walking outside the Washington County Treatment Court, a drug-treatment program, on a brisk fall day. “The rise and fall of empires has been based on energy.”
Ms. Hallquist, 62, a plain-spoken Democrat who spent more than a decade running an electric utility company, has been enthralled by science and engineering ever since she was young, when classmates mocked her for being feminine and the nuns at school beat her and recommended her parents treat her nonconformity with an exorcism.”
“. . . . And in an age when Democratic politicians stake positions around terms like “socialist” — one of many labels for which she has little use — Ms. Hallquist has made the electric grid central to her political identity.
“We can grow the hell out of this rural economy if we connect every home and business to fiber optic cable” strung alongside power lines, which could bring high-speed internet to the state’s many remote towns, she said. And by moving electricity production away from fossil fuel she believes “the electric grid could be the tool to solve climate change.” “