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Chittenden County Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale announces bid for U.S. House

A photo of Kesha Ram in a red oatterned dress and red jacket, sitting in a seat by the curved desks in the Vermont House chamber.
Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale announced Thursday she's running for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Chittenden County Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale announced Thursday morning that she’s running for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ram Hinsdale, a first-term state senator who previously served in the Vermont House of Representatives, joins Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint in the Democratic primary for Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House.

Incumbent Congressman Peter Welch announced he’s running for the U.S. Senate seat opening up as a result of the retirement next year of Sen. Patrick Leahy.

All three Democratic candidates for the U.S. House have pledged to support progressive policy initiatives such as the Green New Deal.

Ram Hinsdale told VPR that her track record demonstrates a deeper commitment to the cause.

“I was fighting for the Green New Deal before it had a name – that’s how I got into politics in Vermont. I introduced Vermont’s first environmental justice bill in 2007 as a senior in college,” she said.

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Ram Hinsdale previously ran for statewide office in 2016, when she placed third in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor with 17.3% of the vote.

“I got to every corner of the state, and I learned a lot in that race,” she said. “I really think I learned that an uphill battle is OK. You leave everything on the table, and you still deliver on the results, even if you’re not ultimately successful in the election.”

Ram Hinsdale said that as the daughter of a Jewish American mother and Indian immigrant father who saw their restaurant venture fail, she has firsthand experience with the struggles of working Vermonters.

“And I think my lived experience has propelled me to be someone who’s on the steps of the Statehouse with teachers fighting for their pensions, to be alongside working Vermonters fighting to create more access to housing and homeownership, and to recognize that the fight for our climate is also one that matters deeply to people who are mobile home park residents or migrant farmers,” she said.

Ram Hinsdale said she’ll announce early fundraising totals on Friday.

Balint announced last week that she’s raised more than $200,000 so far for her campaign.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Peter Hirschfeld @PeteHirschfeld.

The Vermont Statehouse is often called the people’s house. I am your eyes and ears there. I keep a close eye on how legislation could affect your life; I also regularly speak to the people who write that legislation.
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