A cyclist who was fired after flipping US President Donald Trump’s motorcade has been elected to local office in Virginia.
The viral photo taken in 2017 shows Juli Briskman, a cyclist flipping off at Donald Trump’s presidential convoy. The image costed Juli her job. Two years later, Briskman decided to join politics and run for local office.
She went door-to-door, handing out leaflets ahead of the November 5 local elections in Loudoun County, Virginia.
The incident that brought change into her life dates back to a Saturday in October 2017, when the 52-year-old athlete showed Donald Trump exactly what she thought of him, as his imposing convoy of black SUVs passed her on the road outside the Trump National Golf Club.
After her picture went viral she lost her job as a marketing analyst for a United States government and military subcontractor.
Briskman’s gesture got the U.S. politically divided. While some viewed her defiant finger as a sign of resistance, the photo also brought her insults and threats. She also sued her former employer for unfair dismissal, accusing it of violating her freedom of speech.
The snapshot of her gesture spread across media and the internet in 2017, bringing her insults and threats.
Her decision to run for office totally paid off on Tuesday night, as Juli Briskman celebrated her victory in a tweet that linked to a copy of the image.
“Looking forward to representing my friends & neighbors in #Algonkian District who backed me up today! So proud that we were able to #FlipLoudpun,” she wrote.
With 52 percent of the vote after 99 percent of precincts had reported, the result saw Republican Suzanne Volpe beaten into second place.
When fighting her campaign in Loudoun County Juli Briskman didn’t bring up the image that sparked her 15 minutes of fame unless homeowners started “talking about the administration” or commented on her bicycle pin.
Instead, she wanted to show that there was “substance” behind her candidacy — education, women’s rights, transportation and environmental issues — and that she wasn’t “just the person that rode my bike one day and flipped off the president.”
Her success comes as Trump’s party also lost control of both chambers of the legislature in increasingly blue Virginia, US media including The New York Times projected.
Democrats will now hold all major statewide offices and rule the state assembly, a comprehensive consolidation of power not seen in the state since the 1990s.