By Guy Page
Sen. Rebecca Balint (D-Windham) announced this morning she will run for U.S. Congress.
The Vermont Senate Pro Tem’s decision guarantees a Democratic primary battle for the seat vacated by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont), who will run for the U.S. Senate seat Patrick Leahy has held since 1975. Lt. Gov. Molly Gray announced earlier this month she also will seek the lone Vermont seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Balint’s campaign video opens with photos of her Jewish grandfather who died during the holocaust, and photos of herself as a gay teenager.
I know what can happen when we turn away from each other,” Balint said in a campaign video released this morning. “My grandfather was murdered on a death march in the Holocaust. I grew up with the knowledge that people can be led astray when they’re scared.”
The desire to help other people get over their fears of ‘different’ people motivated Balint to become a schoolteacher, she said.
“I knew I was gay and that was different and I knew that some people were scared of my kind of different,” Balint said. “I think I was a middle school teacher because I did not want any of my students to feel that sense of fear that they weren’t going to have someone showing up for them.”
She also lauded her record in developing affordable housing, ‘reproductive freedom,’ and paid sick leave.
In Congress she will work for Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, she promised.
With both her and Gray in the race, the position of Lt. Governor (elected by voters) and Senate Pro Tem (elected by senators) will be open again for the second consecutive biennial election.