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State Senate President Becca Balint announces run for Vermont's U.S. House seat

A woman with shoulder length hair and glasses tilts her head and has a contemplative gaze
Maria French, Courtesy
Vermont state Sen. Becca Balint, a Democrat serving the Windham district, is the current Vermont Senate President Pro Tem. She announced she'll seek Vermont's sole seat in the U.S. House as Rep. Peter Welch runs for the U.S. Senate.

Vermont State Sen. Becca Balint announced Monday that she's running for Vermont's sole seat in the U.S. House.

Balint joins Lt. Gov. Molly Gray on the roster of candidates looking to fill Vermont's House seat, now held by Rep. Peter Welch.

Welch's seat will open next year as he seeks the Senate post that will become vacant after the announced retirement of Sen. Patrick Leahy.

Balint, a Democrat serving the Windham district, is the current Vermont Senate President Pro Tem, and has served in the state Senate since 2014.  

She’s the first woman to hold the position, as well as the first openly gay woman elected to the state senate.

Speaking Monday, Balint said developing an agenda to help working families is her top priority.

But in order to achieve that, and other goals, she said the political debate in Washington D.C. needs to become less toxic.

"It's about this combination of courage and kindness because we are at a dark time right now," she said. "We are so divided and we have important work that we need to and if we stay in a place of demonizing each other we're not going to be able to come together to do the things that Vermonters need us to do."

Balint was raised largely in upstate New York. She has a bachelor's degree from Smith College, a master's in education from Harvard University and a master's in history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Balint first came to Vermont in 1994 to teach rock climbing, and moved here permanently in 1997.

She lives in Brattleboro with her wife, attorney Elizabeth Wohl, and their two children.

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Updated: December 13, 2021 at 3:56 PM EST
This story was updated to include more information.
Matt Smith worked for Vermont Public from 2017 to 2023 as managing editor and senior producer of Vermont Edition.
Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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