MONTPELIER – Following Monday’s announcement from Rep. Peter Welch that he’s running for U.S. Senate to replace outgoing Senator Patrick Leahy, several state leaders hinted toward announcements on their own political futures.
While state lawmakers were in Montpelier for a special session of the Vermont Legislature, they were asked whether any plans are in the works.
“I’ll be taking some time over Thanksgiving,” said Lt. Gov. Molly Gray. “I’ll be at the farm seeing my family and we’ll make a decision after that time.”
Gray’s first term is scheduled to end in January 2023. She was a congressional affairs associate and policy manager before serving as an assistant attorney general and adjunct professor at Vermont Law School.
“You can bet that over the next few days and weeks, I’ll be making a decision about the next steps for me,” said Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint.
Balint has served in the Vermont Senate since 2015, and was sworn in as Senate President Pro Tem on January 6. She is the first woman and first openly gay person to hold that position, and her current term is scheduled to end in January 2023.
“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,” said State Sen. Kesha Ram. “I will continue to prioritize the needs and voices of my fellow Vermonters as I make this decision.”
Ram assumed office on January 6, and ran as a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2016. Prior to that, she represented Chittenden County in the Vermont House of Representatives. Her other work includes serving as legal director of Steps to End Domestic Violence and public engagement specialist with the City of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office.
While nobody has made a formal announcement yet, it appears at least a handful of Vermont lawmakers will spend the holidays considering a bid for Vermont’s lone seat in Congress.