Vermont Lt. Gov. Molly Gray launches bid for US House

Vermont News

Vermont Lt. Gov. Molly Gray stands on the Statehouse steps on Thursday Jan. 7, 2021, in Montpelier, Vt., during a ceremony for the inauguration of Gov. Phil Scott and other statewide office holders. Gray, a Democrat, took the oath earlier Thursday during a ceremony in the Statehouse’s Senate chamber. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Lt. Gov. Molly Gray announced Monday that she would seek the Democratic Party nomination to fill the U.S. House seat that will become vacant when U.S. Rep. Peter Welch runs for the U.S. Senate.

Gray, a Burlington lawyer who was born and raised on a farm in South Newbury, is seeking Vermont’s first open seat in the U.S. House since 2006 when now U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders left the House to run for the upper chamber.

Vermont is the only state that has never sent a woman or a minority to Washington.

“From affordable, quality child care to workforce development, I’m committed to working hard to bring real solutions to Vermont families,” Gray said in a statement.

Last month, Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, who was first elected to the Senate in 1974, announced he would not seek reelection next year. That prompted Welch, who has served in the House since 2007, to announce that he run would for the Senate seat.

A number of other Vermont politicians have expressed interest in running for the House seat, including Democratic state Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale, of Burlington.

To date, no Republican has publicly express interest in running for the House or Senate. The Vermont 2022 primary is in August ahead of the November election.

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