Campaign Countdown: Meet the Vt. candidates for US Senate

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The midterm election takes place in only two weeks and features the race to fill the seat of Senator Patrick Leahy, who last year decided to step down after nearly five decades in Washington. Democratic Representative Peter Welch is hoping to move up to the Senate chamber but is facing Republican political newcomer Gerald Malloy.

Peter Welch is no stranger to Vermont politics, having served in the Statehouse and for the past 16 years as Vermont’s lone congressman. He says his experience will help set him up to take the next step.

“What I have shown in Washington is what I have done in Montpelier and that is work with the other party or work with anybody for that matter,” Welch said.

His opponent is new to the political game. Gerald Malloy is an Army vet who is also a businessman. “I don’t like the direction that the country has been heading in the last 18 to 20 months,” Malloy said. “Frankly, we are in a crisis - economic, crime, and drugs. Malloy takes pride in what he calls his Republican values. “Less government, less spending, less control. I’d like to push things down to the states. I don’t like seeing over government intervention and subsidies in the industry. I look for open market.”

Welch says he wants to stay in Washington to continue to bring his Vermont approach of listening more than talking, but this time in the Senate. “Whe problems that we face require the urgency of immediate action, like protecting our democracy, like restoring reproductive freedom for women, like acknowledging that climate change is real,” Welch said. He says the federal government has a chance to step up and help with affordability issues. “Having federal dollars go to things that working people need, like child care, like support for affordable housing.”

Malloy disagrees on where the money should flow in Washington. “I would get back to some fiscal responsibility. It’s the overspending that’s caused the inflation,” Malloy said. He also has a different stance on abortion rights. “I thought the Supreme Court was correct in overturning Roe v. Wade and as I mentioned, pushing it to the states and the people.”

Both candidates know that stepping into the spot left by Senator Leahy won’t be an easy job, but they feel that they are the right person. “I don’t think that all Vermonters are being represented by our members of Congress,” Malloy said.

“Having an approach to problem-solving that is cooperative -- it’s working across the aisle,” Welch said.

Early voting is underway and all Vermont registered voters should have received their ballots in the mail. Click here for voter information, including registering to vote or confirming that your completed ballot was received.

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