U.S. Rep. Peter Welch announced this morning that he is running for U.S. Senate, a seat that U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy said he will retire from at the end of his term in January 2023. Welch called on Vermonters to join him in fighting for a progressive agenda in the Senate.
Moments after Welch’s announcement, Vermont Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale, D-Chittenden, announced her interest in running for Welch’s seat.
“We are at a pivotal moment,” Welch said. “Vermont families are struggling through multiple crises: a global pandemic, the consequences of climate change, and a racial reckoning generations in the making. The result of this election will determine control of the Senate and with it, what we can accomplish for Vermont families. If Vermonters elect me to the U.S. Senate, I will be ready to fight for progressive change on day one.”
Welch reaffirmed his focus on ensuring Vermont’s working families have access to childcare and paid family leave, passing a Green New Deal, lowering health care and prescription drug costs, ensuring that women continue to have control over their own health care decisions, and protecting voting rights and our democracy.
“I was there on January 6th when the Capitol was stormed by a violent mob fueled by the former president’s lies. Too many Senate Republicans stood behind him instead of telling the truth: It was an attack on our democracy and an attempt to overturn a free and fair election. Senate Republicans continue to sow division for their own political gain instead of working together to get things done.”
Congressman Welch is a Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the House Progressive Caucus. He is a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. He has served as Vermont’s Congressman since 2007.
Vermont Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale immediately announced appreciation for Welch, and her interest in running for his vacated seat in her own announcement this morning.
“With Congressman Welch now making a bid for the Senate seat, I will be deeply exploring a run for Congress to give Vermonters a fighter in Washington,” Hinsdale said. “I will continue to prioritize the needs and voices of my fellow Vermonters as I make this decision. Today, I am focused on the rising case count in the pandemic and navigating our path forward for the safety and well-being of all Vermonters.”
“My path has crossed the Congressman’s since I got my start in politics introducing a rally with then-candidate Peter Welch, then-Senator Barack Obama, and then-Congressman Bernie Sanders as a sophomore at the University of Vermont in 2006,” Hinsdale wrote. “Now, over a decade later, we are in a generational moment where we have the opportunity to build a slate of leaders who can take Vermont and the nation forward. As Vermonters cope with rising COVID cases and the multigenerational impacts of our climate crisis, racial reckoning, and housing shortage, we will need bold, experienced leadership to help Vermonters and Americans rebuild stronger and more equitably.”