By GOV. PHIL SCOTT
Editor’s note: The following is a statement Gov. Phil Scott released following last week’s primary election referring to the general election campaign with Democratic nominee Christine Hallquist, who is Vermont’s first transgender candidate for governor.
I would like to thank everyone for their support and their vote in the primary election.
As I’ve done in the past, I’ll be running a positive campaign focused on what we have achieved in the last 19 months, and the progress we can continue to make in the years ahead. And I hope Christine will join me in committing to running a campaign that is civil, respectful and sets a good example for our children and youth.
It’s disappointing — and totally unacceptable — to see the hateful and ignorant comments about my opponent on social media and elsewhere on the basis of her gender. I want to be very clear about this: I will not tolerate — and flat-out reject — hateful, discriminatory and disrespectful speech of any type. I’m proud to live in a state that has always been a leader in human rights and equality.
A person’s gender doesn’t dictate whether they’re fit for public office. What does is their commitment to serve, their ideas to improve peoples’ lives, and their ability to listen. However, we should all be proud as Vermonters that we are building on our legacy of inclusion, as Christine joins the late Karen Kerin, a Vermont Republican with whom I campaigned in the past, as the second transgender statewide candidate.
Most of us believe in treating all people with dignity and respect, so I’m hopeful that Vermonters will join me, and Christine, in elevating this campaign — and all of the discussions about it — to a respectful debate about which candidate is best equipped to continue to grow the economy, make Vermont more affordable, and lead the state to prosperity.
Thank you again for your support, and let’s do this the Vermont way.