Vermont Rep. Peter Welch announced Monday he would run for the US Senate seat held by fellow Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy, who announced last week he would not seek reelection in 2022.
“We are at a pivotal moment,” Welch said in a statement. “Vermont families are struggling through multiple crises: a global pandemic, the consequences of climate change, and a racial reckoning generations in the making. The result of this election will determine control of the Senate and with it, what we can accomplish for Vermont families.”
His announcement comes as Democrats seek to hold control in the Senate, where they narrowly hold power and Republicans only need to win one seat in the 2022 midterms to regain control of the chamber. During the midterm elections, Republicans will be defending 20 Senate seats and Democrats will be defending 14. Democrats are also seeking to maintain control of the House, where more than a dozen Democrats have announced plans to leave the chamber.
Welch was elected to Vermont’s only seat in the US House in 2006. He is chief deputy whip of the House Democratic Caucus and has pushed for energy reform.