Virginia Cyclist Best Known for Flipping Off Trump Elected to Public Office

Photo: SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
November 8, 2019

The cyclist in Virginia who became known nationwide after a photo of her flipping off President Trump's motorcade in 2017 went viral is now a public official. Juli Briskman was elected earlier this week as a supervisor in her home Algonkian District in Loudoun County.

"It is very clear to me that the voters of district backed me up on my sentiment toward the Trump agenda and the Trump administration," said Briskman, a Democrat who beat the Republican incumbent with 52 percent of votes.

The famous photo, taken by a reporter traveling in Trump's motorcade, was captured after the president left his Trump National Golf Club in Loudoun County, a suburban area just northwest of Washington DC. Briskman subsequently lost her job with a government contractor in the fallout.

However, Briskman credits her campaign's focus on local issues, and not Trump, for its success in the election. "We just went out and talked to thousands and thousands of voters and made sure they knew that my values matched their values," she said. "And that it was time for a change."

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Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

As supervisor-elect, Briskman said she is now focused on her policy priorities, which include affordable housing, public school investments, and sustainability. On environmental policy, for instance, Briskman says she will work to ensure that Loudoun County furthers its adherence to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, a decades-old state initiative to preserve the bay that relies heavily on local governments.

Notably, Trump National Golf Club exists in her new jurisdiction.

Briskman victory was part of a blue wave that swept across Virginia in the election Tuesday. For the first time in 26 years, Democrats were voted into the majority in the state's House of Delegates and the State Senate. The governor. Ralph Northam, is also a Democrat, giving the party full control of what was once considered a reliable Republican state.

"I'm not going to lie, the 'Trump effect' was in play in the county, in my district, and all over Virginia," Briskman said, referring to a sense of disillusionment felt by voters — and reflected in electoral outcomes — towards the Republican Party. "We've gone from a red to a purple to a blue state since I've lived here."