VT Primaries: Welch and Malloy win primaries for US Senate, Balint and Madden take contests for House
Vermont Congressman Peter Welch has won the Democratic primary for US Senate. The Associated Press called the race for Welch Tuesday night.
Welch, who has been Vermont’s at-large Congressman since 2007, bested Isaac Evans-Frantz and Nikki Thran. Welch is looking to succeed Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy who is retiring after eight terms.
"The stakes of this race are too high to sit this one out," Welch said in a statement Tuesday night. "In a 50/50 Senate, our ability to address unprecedented challenges like the affordability crisis, the climate emergency, individual rights that are being threatened by an extremist Supreme Court, and an imperiled democracy depend on Democrats’ maintaining or expanding our majority in the Senate this election."
Welch will face Army veteran and business consultant Gerald Malloy who beat Christina Nolan and Myers Mermel in the Republican primary. Progressive Martha Abbott is also running for Senate.
Vermont State Senate Pro Tem Becca Balint won Tuesday’s Democratic primary to replace Welch. Balint beat Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray, Louis Meyers and Sianay Chase Clifford.
“I can say that while my disappointment is profound, so too is my gratitude for this opportunity," Gray said. "This was a tough race with deeply qualified candidates making their case to Vermonters. I look forward to continuing to serve Vermonters throughout the remainder of my term as Lt. Governor and I remain deeply thankful for the opportunity to serve this state I love so much.”
Liam Madden beat Ericka Redic and Anya Tynio in the Republican primary for the House seat. Progressive Barbara Nolfi is also running for the post in November.
Republican Governor Phil Scott easily fended off primary challenges from Stephen Bellows and Peter Duval. Scott will face Democrat Brenda Siegel, who was unopposed in Tuesday's primary, as he seeks a fourth two-year term in November.
Former lieutenant governor David Zuckerman declared victory Tuesday night in the Democratic race for his old job. Zuckerman, who held the post from 2017 until 2021, claimed victory over Kitty Toll, Patricia Preston and Charlie Kimbell. Zuckerman unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2020 against Scott.
"I look forward to putting my experience as a proven legislator, as well as a tried and tested Lt. Governor back to work for you," Zuckerman said in a statement. "In this time with so much turnover and such urgent issues, I am ready to work with the Senate leadership to build committees that will work to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges that we face."
Republican Joe Benning fended off Gregory Thayer for the GOP nod in the LG’s race.
Charity Clark beat Rory Thibault in the Democratic primary for Vermont attorney general. Clark was chief of staff to Democrat TJ Donovan, who decided not to seek reelection this year and left the post in June. Clark will face Republican H. Brooke Paige and Progressive Elijah Bergman in November.
In the race of Secretary of State, Sarah Copeland Hanzas eked out a narrow victory over Chris Winters and John Odum in the Democratic primary. Since Vermont law allows candidates to run for more than one office at a time, Paige also ran unopposed for Secretary of State. Progressive Robert Millar is also vying for the seat in November. Democratic Secretary of State Jim Condos is retiring after more than a decade in the post.