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A Woman Who Was Fired For Flipping Off Trump's Motorcade Won An Election In Virginia

Juli Briskman, a Democrat, beat the Republican incumbent for a seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

Posted on November 5, 2019, at 10:18 p.m. ET

Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

A Virginia woman who was fired after flipping off President Trump's motorcade in 2017 turned her political frustrations into action, winning a local election on Tuesday.

Juli Briskman won a seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, beating the incumbent Republican in her district. With 99% of precincts reporting results, she captured 52.4% of the vote.

Briskman is a longtime resident of the county, near Washington, DC, and in October 2017 was cycling past the president's motorcade as it was departing the Trump National Golf Course. A news photographer caught her flipping off the line of SUVs escorting Trump, and the photo went viral.

Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

At the time, she was upset by Trump's plan to end the immigration policy Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as his response to the disaster in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

"I don't employ that gesture very often but I wanted to express my opinion, and I was faced with tinted, bullet-proof glass, and I was assuming the person in the car was who I thought it was," Briskman told BuzzFeed News in 2018.

After Briskman was identified as the cyclist, her bosses at federal contractor Akima told her she had to resign from her position as a marketing analyst. A lawsuit filed by Briskman against the company in 2018 alleged the company was afraid the Trump administration would retaliate against the company and end its contracts because of the photo.

She argued the firing violated her freedom of speech, and ultimately she won severance from her former employer, the Washington Post reported.

I am running to serve as Supervisor for the Algonkian District where I have worked, volunteered, organized and raised my kids in public schools. I have launched my campaign on @Crowdpac because... if not now, when? Let's Do this!

Briskman campaigned on issues including funding local schools and expanding green space in the community. Her opponent, a Trump supporter, didn't reflect the values of the local community, Briskman said in campaign tweets.

And the campaign allowed her to take a stand against the Trump policies that once inspired her one-finger salute.

“It’s not like I can run against him,” she told the Post in July. “But I can run.”

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.