In October 2017, cyclist Juli Briskman was photographed giving the middle finger to President Donald Trump's motorcade during a weekend bike ride in Virginia. The photo quickly spread across the internet, and on the Monday after it was taken, Briskman informed her employer, government contractor Akima, that she was the cyclist pictured. The next day, she was fired.
In September of 2018, she decided to run for a seat on her local board of supervisors.
Tuesday night, she won.
"They said, 'We're separating from you,'" Briskman told HuffPost at the time. "Basically, you cannot have 'lewd' or 'obscene' things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off 'obscene.'"
In April 2018, Briskman filed a lawsuit against Akima. She won her severance claim, but her wrongful-termination lawsuit was dismissed.
Virginia is an employment-at-will state, which means that an employer can fire "any employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason," according to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry website. "As a general rule, therefore, the employee has no right to challenge the termination."
So Briskman set her sights on a new job.
"Today, I am filing my organizational papers in a bid for local office in Loudoun County, Va. Loudoun deserves transparency in government, fully funded schools & smarter solutions to growth. It's time for a change," Briskman shared on Twitter of her decision to run for local office last year.
The single mother of two has worked as a marketing specialist for decades and is active in her local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts chapters.
The Democrat defeated Republican Suzanne M. Volpe to represent the Algonkian District on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, by earning an estimated 52% of the vote.
"It's feeling fantastic, it's feeling surreal," Briskman told The Washington Post after her victory. "The last two years have been quite a ride. Now we're helping to flip Loudoun blue."
The same night of Briskman's election, Democrats fully turned the state blue by winning majorities in the state House and Senate.
Briskman, who has lived in Algonkian District for 20 years, will now oversee a district that includes Trump's golf course. She told The Post that her victory has a sense of poetic justice.
"Isn't that sweet justice?" she asked with a laugh.
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