“It’s just a critical moment in our democracy and in our country,” the 74-year-old Welch told The Associated Press on Monday. “Are we going to continue to make progress facing climate change? Are we going to fight for reproductive rights and racial justice? Are we going to help working families?”

Vermont’s sole member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, announced Monday that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, AP reports.

Welch’s decision comes a week after the 81-year-old Leahy’s announcement that he will not seek reelection to the seat he first won in 1974.

Democrats are clinging to a slim majority in the Senate, and the 2022 election could change that.

“It’s just a critical moment in our democracy and in our country,” the 74-year-old Welch told The Associated Press on Monday. “Are we going to continue to make progress facing climate change? Are we going to fight for reproductive rights and racial justice? Are we going to help working families?”

If elected to the Senate, Welch would be giving up the seniority he has earned during his years in the House, where he said he has proved he can work across the aisle.

“The way you get things done in Washington is by building coalitions,” he said. “What I’ve demonstrated in the state Senate and in Congress is to continue to reach out and work with anybody who wants to help solve problems that are affecting all of us. It is the way forward.”

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse