Army veteran Gerald Malloy on winning the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate
Gerald Malloy is a U.S. Army veteran and West Point graduate. He lives in Weathersfield. And now, he's officially the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Last night he beat Christina Nolan, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont. He'll face current U.S. Rep. Peter Welch in the November general election.
Vermont Public's Connor Cyrus spoke to Malloy about his primary win. Their conversation below has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Connor Cyrus: You just won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. How does it feel?
Gerald Malloy: Well, it feels fantastic. Very, very exciting. All the hard work paid off. And I'd like to thank God. And I thank my wife, Stacey, and family. And all the many, many volunteers that helped me. And most of all, I want to thank all the Vermonters who placed their trust in me with their vote.
I think a lot of people saw Christina Nolan as a strong competitor. What was it about your message that you think resonated with Vermont Republican voters?
Well, she was a strong competitor. And I think a couple of things. My ground game: I went and engaged Vermonters across the state. We've been discussing and telling them about myself. I have 42 years of relative service and experience. And across all that leadership and performance and military and government and business, which is all relative, and Vermonters were receptive of that.
Does your election win over Christina Nolan tell us something about the future of the direction of the Vermont Republican Party?
Well, I don't know exactly about that. But I'm proud to be a member of the Republican Party. And I think we are going to kind of gain some ground here in Vermont and in the federal level, in Congress, in the House and the Senate. The teamwork has been fantastic here in the state. You know, I mentioned earlier, for instance, the endorsement from [state Rep. Vicki Strong]. Teamwork's been a part of my win, and I think the party's going to make some strides here in November.
I want you to think back to being on the campaign trail. When did you first start to feel the momentum of the race that was swinging in your favor? Was there a specific moment that you can think of? Or was there a specific thing that you heard from voters that you're like, "Alright, this is picking up — people are really taking to my message?"
That's a good question. You know, I would say you might call the parade season. I think I did 13 or 14 parades, and would go early and stay late, and just talk to people from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July. And I think that's probably when I started to feel the swing. And you can feel it just talking to people.
And as I mentioned, telling them about myself and hearing their issues and concerns. As I've mentioned, Vermonters are not happy with the direction our country's going in, and my experience and service and what I can bring in terms of leadership and performance was of interest.
"I think I did 13 or 14 parades, and would go early and stay late, and just talk to people from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July. And I think that's probably when I started to feel the swing."Gerald Malloy, GOP nominee for U.S. Senate
Now, you've taken a strong stance being anti-abortion, not supporting any gun control measures. And you strongly oppose public health measures from the pandemic, like vaccines or mask mandates. Now that messaging works for the Republican base. But do you think that that message and that messaging will appeal to Vermonters? And if not, what's your plan to try to win them over?
Yes, I think it will appeal. I am pro-life. And from from the beginning of my campaign, it talks about my thoughts that Roe v. Wade — per the Constitution, the 10th Amendment — should be overturned and go to the states, respectively, and the people. And that is what has happened. And as a Vermonter, that's how I will impact that. With my vote. For instance, voting no on Prop 5.
We talked about the economy, looking to grow well-paying jobs here in Vermont; that has not been happening. And I have 11 years-plus of business experience, mostly in the Washington D.C. area. But my title over those 11 years has been "business development." So I'm going to be able to bring new, well-paying jobs and business investments in Vermont, which is sorely needed.
Come November, you'll take on longtime Congressman Peter Welch. How are you going to try to convince voters to vote for you over him when they have elected him for decades?
Well, several ways. We got three months until the general election, but Mr. Welch's voting record, I believe shows, that he's too far to the left, and he doesn't represent the the common sense values of Vermonters.
You've spent more than two decades in the U.S. Army, and you were stationed at bases around the world. With the ongoing war in Ukraine and increasing tensions with China and Taiwan, military conflict is on voters' radars in ways that it hasn't been in some time. What would you do in Washington around these and other military issues?
That's great question. So you're right, I've worked with about 20 NATO partners and allies, and in combat. I've been a part of successful sound foreign policy in Germany and the Middle East and Southeast Asia and training with allies. And I look as my role as a U.S. senator as advising on foreign policy to develop and implement sound, successful foreign policy. That has not been happening. And you know, I've gone on record and talked about if we had a Republican in office right now, in terms of the presidency, I don't believe Russia would have invaded Ukraine. And I don't believe the tension level between China and Taiwan would be at the very high level that it is right now.
You have a very small campaign staff, yet your "deploy Malloy" signs have caught a lot of eyeballs and a lot of attention. How did this slogan come about?
That's our team. We mainly have volunteers that have helped with that in places across the state, but I want to give them full credit for that to a woman named Wend Patterson. She's been a team member from day one, and she came up with that design. And I agree with it, it's eye-catching. And it's got a great response.
So you've got a lot of feedback on "deploy Malloy?"
Oh sure. Everywhere I go, people ask me. And it's been interesting because people will say, "Oh, that's you!" And so I get to talk to them, but people notice it and like it.