It's not everyday that flipping the bird in a moment of frustration leads to political office, but for Juli Briskman that's exactly what happened. Two years after making headlines for being fired from her job as a marketing executive for flipping off a Trump motorcade while biking, Briskman has won an elected office in Virginia.
In the race for a seat on the Algonkian District Board of Supervisors, Briskman garnered 52% of the vote compared to the 44% garnered by incumbent Suzanne Volpe, the Loudoun County Office of Elections has reported. "Looking forward to representing my friends & neighbors in #Algonkian District who backed me up today!" Briskman wrote in a tweet posted late Tuesday. "So proud that we were able to #FlipLoudpun#FlipVA#LOCO219 Thank you Loudoun!"
Briskman first made headlines in October 2017 when a photograph of her riding her bike and flipping off President Donald Trump's motorcade as it drove past her caught national attention. Trump had been traveling from his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, to the White House when he passed Briskman on her bike, according to CNN. She later told BuzzFeed News that, in the moment Trump's motorcade passed, she'd been angry at the president's plans to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as his response to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.
"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.
Although Briskman was initially left unidentified when the photograph was first published, she later told CNN that she'd voluntarily told her employer, Akima LLC, that she was the cyclist in the photograph, only to be fired for it. Briskman was reportedly told she'd violated Akima LLC's social media policy when she shared the photograph on her personal account, according to CNN.
Nearly a year later, Briskman used the photo — and an interview with The Washington Post — to announce her campaign for Algonkian District's Board of Supervisors. "Today, I am filing my organizational papers in a bid for local office in Loudoun County," Briskman wrote in a September 2018 tweet. "Loudoun deserves transparency in government, fully funded schools & smarter solutions to growth. It's time for a change."
In a follow-up tweet Briskman said she was running for a seat on the Algonkian District's Board of Supervisors as it was a place where she had "worked, volunteered, organized, and raised [her] kids" as a single mom. With no previous political experience under her belt, Briskman claimed it wasn't until she'd been fired for flipping off the president's motorcade that she'd even thought about entering politics, according to The Hill.
Briskman's election victory comes as part of a series of Democrat victories across the state, according to USA Today, resulting in Democrats flipping both houses within Virginia's state legislature.
And in an interesting twist of fate, The Washington Post reported that the district Briskman will now represent as supervisor includes Trump National Golf Club, the same golf course Trump's motorcade was leaving in 2017 when it passed Briskman on her bike. "Isn't that sweet justice?" Briskman told The Washington Post of the connection.
As part of her campaign, Briskman has vowed to work with communities to address various infrastructure concerns, support paid family and medical leave for county staff, and fully-fund public schools while supporting a living wage for educators.