Vermont Rep. Peter Welch to seek Leahy's Senate seat
Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Monday he will run for the U.S. Senate seat that will be left open after Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) retires in 2022.
Why it matters: Welch's candidacy for Senate was expected, but it now leaves an open race for his at-large seat in the House.
What they're saying: "It shouldn't be hard for your government to help people," Welch said in a video announcing his candidacy.
- "And yet everything, everything — voting rights, Medicare for all, Green New Deal, lowering prescription drug costs, reproductive justice, racial and economic justice — everything gets filibustered by the Mitch McConnell Republicans in the Senate. They're fighting for failure," he added.
The big picture: Leahy's fellow Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders (I), endorsed Welch shortly after his announcement.
- "[Welch] understands that now is the time to think big, not small," Sanders said in a tweet. "Peter has the knowledge and experience to fight for a government that works for all, not just the wealthy few."
- Vermont is the only state that has never elected a woman to Congress, which will likely be considered during the race for Welch's open House seat.