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Former US attorney considering Senate run in Vermont as Republican

The Senate is seen from the West Front on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
Greg Nash

Christina Nolan, a former U.S. attorney in Vermont, is considering a Senate run as a Republican, potentially setting her up for race against Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) for Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) seat, she told VTDigger

“I am definitely exploring the possibility, but I am not yet ready to announce a formal decision or make a formal announcement,” said Nolan, who filed her Senate candidacy paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission last week, according to VTDigger. 

Nolan is the most high-profile Republican reported to be considering a Senate run. Gov. Phil Scott (R) has polled well against top Democrats in a theoretical Senate race, but has announced that he will not run for Leahy’s seat. 

Leahy announced that he will not run for reelection in November. Welch, Vermont’s lone House member, has already announced his candidacy for the seat, setting up a heated race to replace him in the House. 

Nolan was the first woman in Vermont to serve as U.S. attorney, and would also be the first woman representing Vermont in Congress should she win the Senate race. 

Prominent Democrats Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and state Senate leader Becca Balint are both running for the House seat, and could also break the state’s congressional gender barrier.  

Nolan was named the top federal prosecutor in the state by former President Trump in 2017, upon the recommendation of both Leahy and Scott. 

Nolan resigned as U.S. attorney in 2021 when President Joe Biden took office, a customary practice for federal prosecutors at the beginning of a new presidential administration.

When Nolan left the office, Leahy said “I’m very proud of her,” adding “she’s been one of the outstanding prosecutors we’ve had.”

Nolan now works at Burlington law firm Sheehey Furlong & Behm, where she focuses on white collar defense, health care and internal investigations.

Robert Sand, the founding director of Vermont Law School’s Center for Justice Reform, credited Nolan with maintaining “some balance” while working under the Trump administration, in comments to VTDigger after news of her departure. 

Nolan’s office prosecuted a group of businessmen in the Jay Peak EB-5 scandal, the largest fraud case in the program’s history, and was also active in a deceptive marketing case resulting in an $8 billion settlement with opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

Tags Christina Nolan Donald Trump Joe Biden Patrick Leahy Peter Welch Vermont Senate race
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