Welch may face challenge from left for Leahy Senate seat

Photo from Nov. 15 public statement by Sen. Kesha Ram

by Guy Page

Rep. Peter Welch is planning to run for the Vermont Senate seat held by Patrick Leahy since 1974, Axios reports.

Welch, the longtime lone Congressman for Vermont, reportedly has a $2.1 million campaign chest and has hired a consultant to help him run for Senate. According to Axios, he “is indicating to colleagues” his plan to run for the seat, which becomes open next year. 

Welch could face a challenge from the Vermont left – possibly Chittenden County Sen. Kesha Ram, who published a gushing press release about Leahy two and a half hours after his Monday announcement that he would not seek re-election. The statement concludes:

“Stepping aside to let the next generation step up is yet another act of visionary leadership. As we stare down the tumultuous road ahead, Vermont will need leaders who we can trust to authentically represent and fight for our needs at every level of government and carry on his legacy. We will not let you down.”

The press release also includes a photo of Leahy and Ram with a hand-written note: “Kesha – proud of you! Patrick Leahy.”

According to Axios and many Vermont observers, Lt. Gov. Molly Gray is also a likely candidate. A family friend of the Leahys, Gray came out of nowhere in 2020 to defeat many established Vermont politicians in both parties for the lieutenant governor post. People who have spoken to her are impressed with the Newbury native and lawyer’s communication skills, command of issues and political savvy. 

If Vermont’s political Left decides to challenge Welch, soon-to-be Senior Senator Bernie Sanders could play a kingmaker role. It’s likely that whoever gets the nod from Sanders will be expected to support some or all of the initiatives dearest to his independent, socialist heart.

On the Republican side, Gov. Phil Scott will not be a candidate, he stated emphatically during Tuesday’s press conference. Conservative activist Mark Cuester of Windham County has declared he will seek the nomination as an independent.

* * * * * *

Monday, Vermont Daily Chronicle published readers’ reactions to Leahy’s announcement. Two more were submitted after Monday’s deadline and are published below.

I met the man Sen Patrick Leahy on the movie set of Batman and Robin in Los Angeles back in 1996 or 1997. When I approached him I told him I was one of his constituents. Through our conversation we learned that his Father and my Great Grandfather were friends. We made contact a couple of times by phone when I returned to Vermont on vacation from California. He impressed me as a kind and affable gentleman. I did not follow him politically. My interest in politics did not really occur until June of 2015. 

I don’t know what Sen Leahy’s beginning or middle of his career was like, but these last 6 years have been less than stellar. His embracing of Black Lives Matter and the Communist Arm of the Democrat Party is sickening. I guess the pressure from the Far Far Left to conform was just too great to withstand. I believe that evolution from who he was to what he became is one more good reason to instill term limits. I wish him well into his retirement. – Brian Judd, Barre, 2021 candidate for City Council

Having watched Pat Leahy in office for 48 years, I find myself wondering what were his most noteworthy actions on a national stage  – leaving aside his flood of federal spending directed to benefit Vermont. What comes up first is his ultimately failed campaign, along with Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden, to block confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas – and making sure the first Hispanic Justice was not going to be an admirably qualified  Republican (Miguel Estrada).

Thirty years ago Pat had his staffer take a photo of us in the State House. I remarked, “this is going to hurt both of our reputations.” – Former State Senator and Ethan Allen Institute Founder John McClaughry

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16 replies »

  1. Leahy will always be the poster boy for term limits. He should have been gone in the 80s, after two terms. Welch (aka The Welch) should have been limited out also. You know what they say about guests and fish, well it’s the same with politicians.

  2. Vermont must keep cleaning its swamp from all the little Marxists in state government, local town offices, school boards, teachers, etc.

    Liberty is from God not man.

  3. too many hippies came to vermont from elsewhere during the 60s and 70s and settled themselves in public office ( easiest job in town at the time ) it’s time for them to be voted out, we don’t need their marxist/ communistic beliefs in the years ahead. clean sweep them out, they’ve been in office too long!

    • For the record – and for a little fun… I’m an old hippie. Love the Grateful Dead. But I’m not an idiot. Those with whom you have distrust we hippies characterized as ‘Zombies’ years ago… they are ‘the walking dead’. All you have to do is stay out of their way while they self destruct.

      ‘Don’t try to understand them. And don’t try to make them understand you. For they are a breed apart and make no sense.’

      Get your house in order. It’s time. 🙂

  4. Please. Haven’t we conservatives caught on to this charade by now. Welch’s challenge from the left will be the proverbial progressive strawman, put forth only to make Welch appear more the centrist.

    My problem is that I don’t know, nor have I been introduced to, anyone in Vermont with conservative principles who can compete with Welch.

  5. i think i’ll run for the US Senate as an INDEPENDENT if I can sign up a good fund-raiser. I favor term limits for all Congress persons, and I will only serve ONE term if I am elected.

    Dennis Morrisseau

  6. The “next generation” isn’t unprecedentedly younger people. That is the “woke” way.
    Also, with all the talk of racism in VT, this State certainly has a disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic State legislators.

  7. For a substantial part of my career, I worked for the largest bank in Connecticut……It had more than 10,000 employees, rapidly growing staffing needs and thus invested enormous resources to recruit and train young people to fill the bank’s needs. We looked for the very best and brightest talent and were able to attract the very best.

    Most of the young people hired had educational backgrounds and resumes as good as, if not to superior, to those of Kesha Ram and Molly Gray, who are both exceptional young people.

    When we found these superior young people, they were placed in a two year intensive training program to prepare them to start careers as junior bankers, where they would then work under the guidance of an experienced supervisor…….It was a big investment to insure that strong and prepared talent was available to meet the complex and demanding work ahead.

    Today its a big rush, there is no time for training, no time to gain experience, no time to gain wisdom……Its straight off to the US Senate…….How can this be good for the country?

  8. Watch how much political action money comes flying into the pockets of many Dems/Progs to buy Leahy’s seat. How many carpetbaggers are all ready here postioning themselves for big time money from the DNC? Pipe dreams – the Party may not survive the Biden/Harris collossal disaster. They are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The criminal syndicate is feeling the heat of Hell nipping at their heels.

  9. I took it upon myself to attend a Bernie rally… I in no way support the maniac but I hoped i would get the opportunity to speak to the socialist moneymaker.

    I was fortunate to be ahold of the microphone so I spoke to Bernie and the crowd was able to listen.

    I asked Bernie how he kept referring to America as the richest country in the world when we were over twenty trillion dollars in debt and he wanted to add trillion more with the infrastructure bill. Of course the response was the new bill wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything.

    He said part of the money was for child are and parents needs…part would pay students loans and much had already been spent to help people during the covid crisis.

    I asked how much money was given to people on Social Security receiving $1,000.00 a month or less. He hemmed and hawed and turned beet red and remained quiet for a few seconds and continued with his propaganda.

    I attempted to ask Welch some questions at the Bernie rally in Springfield,VT last summer.

    Peter Welch completely refused to answer my questions…

    I asked sice he was on the intelligence committee why wasn’t he calling for the removal of Eric Swallwell (the spy who loved me) for his involvement with a Chinese Spy

    I asked about Hunter Biden’s laptop

    I asked about Welch’s Chinese investments..

    Peter got up and flew out of there after stating he would not answer my questions.

    After the rally when I crossed the street to get to my car he was shouting idiotic remarks at me from his car window.

    When I think of Peter Welch a picture of a “WORM” comes to mind.

    We need to rid VT of it’s corrupt politicians.

    One down with Leahy retiring!

    We need to get rid of Welch and Bernie!

    We deserve better.

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