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Vermont sends its first woman to Congress

All 50 states will soon have elected a woman to serve in Congress, after Democrat Becca Balint was projected to cruise to victory in her bid for Vermont’s lone House seat Tuesday night.
Balint, who will fill the seat vacated by Rep. Peter Welch (D), who won his Senate race, is also the state’s first LGBT member in Congress. She defeated Republican Liam Madden and Libertarian nominee Ericka Redic.
Balint, 54, was first elected to the state Senate in 2014 and has been the chamber’s president pro tem since 2020. She was previously a middle school teacher.
In deep blue Vermont, her victory Tuesday night was all but assured. She won a resounding victory over Lt. Gov. Molly Gray in the Democratic primary, emphasizing her experience in state government, and Gray’s relative lack of it.
Balint received the high-profile backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), whose retirement set off a series of political dominoes in this election, did not endorse in the race, but said he cast his primary vote for the more moderate Gray.
Balint was the Senate majority leader before becoming the pro tem, and during the campaign touted her work in passing a sweeping gun control package and some of the country’s most progressive abortion laws.
During a debate in September, Redic accused Balint of wanting to “tax the hell” out of fossil fuels, which Redic said would raise costs for consumers, according to VTDigger.
Balint said Redic was mischaracterizing her position, but added: “What I have said is that we need to end fossil fuel subsidies, absolutely. We also need to tax the corporations that are benefiting from the windfall profits on fossil fuels.”
Balint has also said she will push for various progressive policies in the House, from codifying Roe v. Wade into federal law to passing “Medicare for All” and reinstating an assault weapons ban.



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