Democratic Rep. Peter Welch announces bid for seat of retiring Sen. Partrick Leahy of Vermont

November 23, 2021

Representative Peter Welch (D), Vermont’s sole House member, announced on Monday. November 22, that he is moving forward with a widely expected bid to succeed Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), who said last week that he would not seek a ninth term in 2022, reports The Washington Post.

In a statement, Welch promised to fight for progressive values if elected to a chamber now evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans.

“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.”

Welch, 74, enters the race as the front-runner to replace Leahy, 81, the longest-serving member in the Senate. Welch has served in the House since 2007 and is considered one of its more liberal members.

Welch has a long history in Vermont politics, having previously served as president pro tempore of the state Senate. During a news conference last week announcing his retirement, Leahy praised Welch as “remarkable.”

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) swiftly endorsed Welch on Monday, saying that Welch “has the knowledge and experience to fight for a government that works for all, not just the wealthy few.”

Welch pledged in his statement to work to expand access to child care and paid family leave, pass a Green New Deal, lower healthcare and prescription drug costs, protect abortion rights, and safeguard voting rights.

Research contact: @washingtonpost