Danielle VanHelsing, a trans woman and an Independent from Maine, has announced her candidacy for the United States Senate.
VanHelsing will run to unseat incumbent Republican Susan Collins.
Many remember that Collins cast one of the deciding votes to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court for life. Even though she has supported things like marriage equality, Pose’s Ryan Murphy says Collins is one of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians.
VanHelsing, 36, believes Collins is a “terrible senator” who says it’s a “horrifying time” for the trans community due to the hostilities of the Trump Administration.
VanHelsing is one of the first people to announce their campaigns against Collins for the 2020 election. Democrat Cat London entered the race in July, but has since put her campaign on hold.
On January 25, VanHelsing shared her political platform to Facebook. Her top three issues are jobs, education, and healthcare.
“My biggest focus for job growth in Maine has always been the infrastructure. Most of Maine still has dialup, if internet at all. The portions with high-speed internet are subpar compared to other states. This hinders the ability for Maine businesses to compete in the market.
If we fix our entire infrastructure we provide a space that businesses will be attracted to and willing to invest in.
My big focus for education in Maine is to ensure all public schools have adequate funding across the state and that higher education is more affordable and accessible for everyone,’ she continues. ‘This goes hand in hand with my plans for the job market in Maine.
Healthcare is a human right and no one deserves to remain sick and/or die as a result of the cost of medicine and medical care. Everyone has a right to a happy and healthy life. I will work to ensure this is the case for everyone in the state of Maine.“
In recent years, many trans candidates have successfully won elections, however, no trans person holds a seat in the United States Congress. Democrat Alexandra Chandler ran last year in Massachusetts, but lost the primary election and Christine Hallquist lost the governor’s race in Vermont.
VanHelsing, who describes herself as “very progressive,” thinks having a transgender person in Congress will be a sign of hope for many in the trans community.
“That would be a big step.“
When Collins voted for Kavanaugh, a Crowdpac fund was started to raise money for her opponent. So far $3,765,139 has been raised.
(Photos, supplied by candidate, YouTube; via Gay Star News)