Vermont will choose candidates for the Senate, the United States House and the governor

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Voters in Vermont will choose candidates on Tuesday to fill a U.S. Senate seat held since 1975 by retired Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, the latest of Congress’s so-called Watergate babies, elected after the resignation of former President Richard Nixon.

The leading Democratic candidate to run for Leahy’s seat in the November election is U.S. Representative Peter Welch, a liberal Democrat known to work down the aisle. Welch has held his seat in the House since 2007. In his years in Congress, Welch has been one of Vermont’s top voters and would be a favorite to win the general election.

Former Vermont U.S. attorney Christina Nolan and retired U.S. Army officer Gerald Malloy are the two leading contenders for the Republican Party nomination in the November election.

Nolan and Malloy believe they can win the seat. Vermont is considered by many to be one of the most liberal states in the country. No Republican has represented the state in Washington since 2001, when the late Sen. Jim Jeffords left the GOP to become an independent, shifting control of the Senate from Republican to Democrat.

But the state, with its small delegation in Congress, has never sent a woman or a member of a minority group to represent it in Washington.

Welch’s decision to run for the Senate seat opens up his House seat, the first time since 2006 that there have been overtures in Vermont’s three-member congressional delegation. The two leading Democratic candidates are Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray and Senate President pro tempore Becca Balint.

In deep blue Vermont, the winner of the Democratic House primary is likely to win easily in November, wiping out what some see as the stain on the liberal state’s reputation of being represented only by white men.

The two share similar political views, but the race pits Gray, a centrist candidate backed by the state’s Democratic establishment, against Balint, who is backed by the progressive wing of the party in Vermont and nationally.

The two leading GOP candidates for the US House nomination are Ericka Redic, of Burlington, and Liam Madden, a Marine Corps veteran from Bellows Falls.

Redic says if elected, she will focus on tackling inflation, illegal immigration, drug abuse and government overreach, especially when it comes to vaccination mandates.

Madden, a non-traditional Republican primary candidate, calls himself an independent. He said he considered refusing the nomination if he won, until he learned it would allow the party to choose a replacement for the November ballot.

The Vermont primary will also choose gubernatorial candidates.

Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott of Berlin — a former stock car driver and the only statewide GOP administrator — is seeking his party’s nomination to run for re-election in November.

Elected to his first two-year term as governor in 2016, Scott has dedicated his tenure to making Vermont more affordable and attracting more people to the state to counter the demographic trend of an aging population with a labor force. shrinking workforce and fewer schools. -children of age.

He faces two unknown candidates in the primary.

The lone candidate for the Democratic nomination is activist Brenda Siegel of Newfane. Last fall, she slept on the steps of the Vermont Statehouse for 27 nights to highlight the state’s homelessness challenge.

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Raymond I. Langston