Peter Welch campaigns for House Victory

Vermont political campaigning starts early this year and the current campaign for Vermont’s single House seat is no exception. The election will be this coming November and the candidates are already out in force. The Democrats chose Peter Welch as their candidate – it should be noted that in Vermont the Democratic Party does not hold primarys – and it looks as though Martha Rainville, Vermont’s former states Adjutant General of the Army and Air National Guard, will take the Republican candidacy in the upcoming primary. Current U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has been a major endorser of the Welch campaign, saying, “As a Vermonter, it is encouraging to see someone of Peter’s high character and depth of experience running to represent us in Congress.” Welch is currently campaigning around Vermont by holding small informal community discussions at the homes of supporters in which many people skeptical of Welch ask him questions about current and future policies. These meetings provide a chance to become intimately acquainted with the candidate. The discussions kick off with a chance to mingle and meet Welch in person before he makes a short speech and then gives attendees a chance to ask questions of him directly. When asked about what promises to be a close race between himself and Martha Rainville, Welch responded by citing what he believes to be a fundamental issue that the U.S. faces today. He said that we need a new direction and new leadership in congress, saying “the Republican leadership has done a lot of damage to Vermont… I represent change, I will vote for new leadership.” Welch then pointed to his political track record. “I have proven experience,” he said, citing his work in Vermont’s State House as President Pro Tem of the Vermont Senate, a position he was elected to unanimously. Welch, in many of his speeches brings up the idea that “we have to change the direction of this country.” This appears to be the central theme of his campaign, and one that many Americans identify with, given the current low poll numbers on Bush’s approval rating and a low approval of America’s current direction. Welch listed his central campaign points as being a system of health care for all Americans, a committed moral environmental policy, energy independence, effectively dealing with the national debt, and national education.