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Congressional candidates meet for first forum

Monday was the first time all declared congressional candidates were together on one stage. They’re all hoping to fill the seat Democratic Representative Peter
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 12:08 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:17 AM EDT
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CASTLETON, Vt. (WCAX) - The 2022 election season is heating up with many eyes on the Democratic primary for Vermont’s lone congressional seat.

A new poll from the University of New Hampshire has current Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint in the lead. Balint has support from 28% of respondents.

Lt. Gov. Molly Gray is next at 21%, followed closely by state Sen. Kesha Ram-Hinsdale at 19%.

The largest response is undecided at 31%.

Monday was the first time all declared congressional candidates were together on one stage. They’re all hoping to fill the seat Democratic Rep. Peter Welch will be leaving empty as he runs in hopes of replacing Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is retiring.

The current field includes five Democratic candidates, one Republican and one independent. On Monday, they fielded questions from Castleton students ranging from student loan debt to climate change.

The field includes:

  • (D) - Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint
  • (D) - Sianay Chase Clifford
  • (D) - Lt. Gov. Molly Gray
  • (I) - Liam Madden
  • (D) - Louis Myers, M.D.
  • (D) - Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale
  • (R) - Ericka Redic

University officials say they invited the candidates to campus hoping to spark students’ interest in government.

Leading up to Monday’s forum students were able to submit questions asked to candidates by a moderator.

“A lot of times it seems like we are a generation born in crisis, we look to those people who can help solve those crises,” Castleton student Perry Ragouzis said on why students should care about who their elected officials are.

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