Bernie Sanders wades into Vermont House race
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has endorsed Becca Balint, the president pro tempore of the Vermont Senate, in what is likely the race to be Vermont’s first woman in Congress.
Balint is among the leaders in her bid to replace Rep. Peter Welch (D), who is leaving the House seat he has held for more than a decade to run for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy (D).
Polls have shown Balint in a close race with Vermont’s lieutenant governor, Molly Gray, to fill the state’s lone house seat. Vermont is the last state to have never sent a woman to Congress.
“Becca is a person of deep integrity,” Sanders tweeted on Wednesday. “She is the kind of person Vermonters need in Congress. That’s why I’m proud to endorse @BeccaBalintVT today and look forward to serving with her in Washington.”
Balint tweeted in response to Sanders’s endorsement, “Bernie has changed this country with his moral clarity, and it is an incredible honor to have his support.”
Balint, who would also be Vermont’s first openly gay representative, is facing three other candidates for the Democratic nomination, including Gray, social worker Sianay Chase Clifford and physician Louis Meyers.
Sanders previously held Vermont’s House seat before being elected to the Senate.
A Republican has not held the seat for more than 30 years, and Cook Political Report considers the seat to be solidly Democratic.
—Updated on July 7 at 8:38 a.m.