The revenge run is everything in politics right now. And it’s pretty sweet.

It’s an election campaign sparked by an incident, an outrage, a final straw.

It’s a candidate who hasn’t spent years dreaming of an election night speech, who wasn’t a student council rep, who wasn’t voted Most Likely to Become President, who didn’t spend decades grooming for this moment.

It’s Juli Briskman, this week’s queen of the revenge run. She’s the Northern Virginia cyclist I hunted down two years ago based on a photo of her backside and a dinner party rumor that she’d lost her job after flipping off President Trump’s motorcade.

In the aftermath, Briskman decided to run for Loudoun County supervisor, winning the election Tuesday night.

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The revenge run is Virginia Del. Danica Roem (D-Prince William), the state lawmaker who took down Del. Robert Marshall two years ago and won reelection this week. Marshall sponsored a bill that would have forced Roem and other transgender women to use the men’s bathroom. She’d had it with Marshall’s self-described title of “chief homophobe” and took him on.

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It’s Del.-elect Shelly Simonds (D-Newport News), who two years ago lost a tied race to incumbent David Yancey after their names were thrown into a ceramic bowl and his was drawn. On Tuesday, she beat him; no drawing needed.

It’s Atlantic County Freeholder Ashley Bennett, who defeated John L. Carman in 2017 after the hungry New Jersey man-child mocked the Women’s March, asking whether it would be “over in time for them to cook dinner.”

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It’s Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), a schoolteacher who ran for office last year after suggestions that teachers should be armed in classrooms. She won and now represents a congressional district that includes Sandy Hook Elementary School.

There are revenge candidates who didn’t win, but they made their points loud and clear.

Like David Ermold, half of a same-sex couple denied a marriage license by county clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky two years ago. He lost his primary, but Davis was later defeated in the general election.

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Or Rachel Crooks, a university administrator and one of many women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Crooks won her primary last year but lost her election to the Ohio State House of Representatives.

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Or Army veteran and high school science teacher Craig Hoxie, who had an unsuccessful run for Oklahoma’s state House after taking part in a massive school walkout with other teachers.

It’s easy to look at these candidates and see what a number of them have in common: an opposition to Trump or Trump’s policies.

No one embodies that better than Briskman.

The day she was fired from her defense contracting firm for that impulsive, middle-finger salute, she signed up to work at her local polling station for the 2017 election. She volunteered for candidates, knocked on doors and began to see a way she could finally have a voice in the county where she’d been raising her kids. Plus, she wanted to turn her 15 minutes of fame into something good. To resist. To persist.

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I went door-to-door with her over the summer as she campaigned. Some folks recognized her right away as the “middle-finger woman.” Some didn’t give a hoot but liked talking about traffic and schools.

We’ve seen fed-up, first-time candidates before. Remember the tea party? But that 2009 wave of conservatives is in decline, especially with the defeat this week of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R), a tea party darling.

The revenge run isn’t really new. It’s a continuation of last year’s Democratic wave, which I called the political equivalent of a Taylor Swift revenge song.

The hallmark of this trend is that it is so female. And so personal.

Briskman has always been active in her community, but it was the middle-finger incident that pushed her to do it from a position of power. She didn’t run for the county Board of Supervisors to take down a presidency, she told me, she did it to have a say.

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Well . . .

The truth is, her territory includes the very golf course owned by Trump, where he had just played a round on the day her gesture was seen around the world. She doesn’t see a way that she’s going to mess with the place. It’s not up for zoning anytime soon.

“It is ironic, isn’t it?” she said. “Ironic how it turned out.”

The optics of this one are sweet.

Twitter: @petulad

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