Vermont GOP mulling candidates for newly opening federal and local seats

Vermont has new seats opening at the state, local and federal levels for the 2022 elections, and Republicans hoping to make gains are feeling emboldened by new polling numbers and a series of blunders by the Biden administration.

Last week, Vermont Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, a Democrat, announced she will run for U.S. House after Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said he will seek the seat of retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. On Monday, Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint, D-Windham, announced she is also running for U.S. House.

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RESHUFFLING THE DECK: Both major parties are in the early stages of lining up candidates for new seats opening at the state and federal level.

The GOP has work to do to overcome its minority status in the Green Mountain State. It currently has the governor’s seat, but only a minority status in the state House and Senate. It has no representation in Vermont’s congressional delegation.

In Vermont’s biggest city, Burlington, the GOP has no representation on City Council. However, Councilor Chip Mason, D-Ward 5, announced on Wednesday that he will not run for reelection, creating an opportunity for Republicans and independents.

Based on national trends, Republicans have good reason to feel emboldened, even in Vermont. The Democratic Party has been plagued by high inflation, election scandals, and a COVID-lockdown backlash. In addition, a new CNBC poll shows the GOP now holds a historic 10-point advantage in which party Americans say they want to lead Congress.

In an interview with TNR on Friday, state Rep. Mark Higley, R-Lowell, said Vermont Republicans are actively seeking out candidates.

“I’ve actually sat down with other Republicans and racked our brains and said, ‘who can we get out there, and we need to get them out early,” he said.

The Vermont Secretary of State’s Office wants to get redistricting done by April 1, but Higley suggested that could be a challenge. He said if Republican candidates choose to make their candidacy announcements after redistricting is announced, that could place them at a disadvantage to opponents who start earlier.

Rep. Samantha Lefebvre, R-Orange, is the new vice-chair of the Vermont GOP. She said she’s heard some big names discussed in conversations, but no announcements yet.

“I have heard that there are some people who are interested in moving around and people that are interested in running for reelection in their current positions, but they might be interested in moving up or changing in what they are looking to run for,” she said.

Lefebvre said there’s a focus on statewide elections “because their current position as a senator or as a House representative could all change, and they won’t know that until the end of May because of the redistricting,” she said, adding that statewide offices won’t be shuffled by redistricting.

She noted that with Gray running for U.S. House, the lieutenant governor’s seat is appealing for Republicans. She said some Republicans are also eyeing a run for Congress.

“I think it was like four pretty strong names that have thrown their name into the ring for running for Welch’s position,” Lefebvre said.

She added that she is unaware of anyone showing interest yet in running for Leahy’s Senate seat.

“Politics has changed greatly in this last year — it’s not like it was even when I entered in. And when I entered in, people said it was nothing like it was five years ago,” she said.

Lefebvre said there’s always disagreement within the party, but that can be OK, since it comes down to winning over voters.

“It’s all about who wants to work, who is going to put in that ground effort and do well with the campaign,” she said.

Vermont remains the only state in the union that has never had a woman senator or representative in the U.S. Congress.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

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12 thoughts on “Vermont GOP mulling candidates for newly opening federal and local seats

  1. The VTGOP is playing a short game. They are trying to get someone on base. Like, even if we got all the fed seats filled with Republicans, would it make a difference in our state? No. More likely even if it did happen they would lose next election. The team has no depth. That is not to disparage them it to face reality, so you can build and grow. And if they did get someone with an R next to their name they would more than likely be uniparty-right, pimpin’ for the new world order so we are no better off.

    The VTGOP in all fairness has the most difficult job in the entire nation. But with that they also have the opportunity to figure out the puzzle and lead the nation. There are people in the know, many of them in our state, highly informed and a working understanding of the dysfunction within our state.

    There are many opportunities that could win hearts and minds, they have nothing to do with uniparty right of the nation Republican party, they are home town issues.

    Expose affordable housing scam.
    Expose EB-5 Scam
    Help the Vermonters who are needlessly dieing because we are not treating covid-19 properly.
    Tax the hell out of porn
    Get after the drug dealers
    Throw them a bone on making our planet cleaner, without becoming communist.
    Real accounting for pay, including benefits, people need to know when they are scammed, also include both sides of SS on the payroll, so people can see how much they are paying!

    There are 119,704 people ready to give money and time. There are knowledgeable people We need a reformation. We need new chefs in the restaurant, because “lower taxes” ain’t gonna win seats in Vermont.

    We are in a subverted state. We need a long game, education reformation.

    Getting people to run doesn’t mean anything, we need to strategically get people in office. You can’t build a team on one home run. And you have to have the entire team playing the same game. When you’re pimpin’ for the New World Order, you aren’t playing for the same team. If you can’t have a discussion with Vermonters who typically vote democrat WITHOUT giving up your principles and not offend them, you have no place in the game, you’ll lose.

    For Complex change we need

    Action Plan

    This is completely absent. We will get similar results unless there is some divine intervention, which is our best hope regardless. But we should be at the very least prepared to take advantage of any blessings when they do come our way. We are not.

    • Here is a wonderful interview with ICU doctor who treated covid. Testified before congress/senate.

      This could be on the VT GOP Website every day. In this publication everyday. People are needlessly dying in Vermont because of improper treatment.

      You might win some hearts by speaking the truth. We had a neighbor die this week. Who will stand up for the truth. Are we all about power and money?

      Costs no money. Exposes the lie. Saves lives. Should help eject some rino’s too. Saves money in healthcare, opens up hospitals, stops the fear.

      That’s a win, win, win, win, win, win, win. We need some wins.

      Some of liked the taste of winning.

      • If you spend the time to watch the above video and are not shaken, saddened to tears or raging in anger your soul may have left your body.

        What is going on is honestly one of the most evil and corrupt things on this planet. All these people needlessly dying for power and money.

        And they coincidentally want not 50 years to release results, but 75? The average life expectancy is 73? Coincidence???

        If every family member who got covid saw this video……you would have a friend for life, rightfully so.

        Lord, we need you.

      • there is more going on behind the scenes than popularity. The higher ups have relationships with the press, the press is told who to promote, and who to mock. ANYONE the press tells to mock and or disappear is removed from view or made to seem shameful, no matter how impressive and important their platform is. It is easy as pie to color a candidate sleazy,crazy or unsuccessful. The uniparty corporate controllers of politics absolutely decides which two candidates R/D that will obey their demands, that appear to be different flavors. They then give the people the ‘vote’ to select either one. Both candidates are schills.

        if The republicans want to win, we must hold town wide meetings from now through November. In-person round tables, in gyms, in rooms. These meetings have got to describe our knowledge that the Covid plan was not about public health but rather about the destruction of small business of Vermont and America. Put these meetings on to cable access, and when the leaders with vision make themselves known to the people, then name them later in the spring, right before the primaries. For make it about getting together, talking together, making our platform together. Bringing community up by the seat of their pants.

        Make this about Faith in Freedom. In fact that ought to be the name of the Republican Revival. FAITH IN FREEDOM.

        • So true. the Smear is a great read about this. Many of us have seen this first hand and experienced it too! 🙂

          It’s also within every party…the game is rigged.

          Peace, he’s already won, he’s already won.

  2. How about someone who’s never lost a statewide election? Milne, no Brock, no get some new blood with the money and a vision. There has never been a better time to change the game. Democrats have destroyed the country in 11 months. It’s not going to get any better for them in another 12 months. Even dyed in the wool Vermont democrats have to be scratching their heads over the new wokeness, CRT, condoms in schools, mandates, inflation, gas prices. Get on it now!

    • please see above. The fix in with the press from the higher ups. They won’t give anyone any coverage that is fair unless the candidate will do the corporate bidding. Our lives depend on breaking the fix. The Enemy is within the higher ups, they are part of the attempt to destroy America. The candidates that are malleable, and will do anything for the power of the position are the ones that the Corporations are interested in. And they will make certain those candidates are kept in line with blackmail, threats and rewards. The corporate powers control the press completely. This TRN is one of the few, very few free places in VT. How many people read it? I spent 5 runs finding out where and how the fix in, from the limited debates, the stupid 2 minutes answers the lack of 2 way communication between the people, the secret agreements of the press to cover only the chosen candidates, and the tricks done with the vote count and more. We are going to have to turn the page on elections as we have done them before. We need circles of people who talk together and not have these ridiculous 2 minute 3 minute empty answers to serious questions, with celebrity candidates.. We must have Faith in Freedom and Faith in the People, Faith in the Constitution, not Pharma. We must trust that in meeting together, all over the state, open circle meetings that the leaders will appear. New leadership, real leadership. And the people will feel it, we will create a unity and excitement for all we can do together when we have FAITH in FrEEDOM, FAITH IN our PEOPLE and Faith in our Constitution.

  3. What, Vermont’s GOPis mulling over candidates, now you know why Vermont is run
    by Liberals…….. VT’s GOP, should have had a list already in hand, and on day one they
    should have been off and running !!

    Liberals will win these seats……… what a shame, the seats are there for the taking but
    VT’s GOP again asleep at the wheel, now that’s pathetic !!

    How about John Klar, Randy Brock just to name a few ?????

      • At some point, I hope sooner than later, we need to work to get Jay Shepard on board to be a Congressional Candidate. There is no one in the GOP more qualified than he to be in Congress
        First, we have to weed out the RINOS, they will take us under every time they can… for what? Just look at where we are now. Get rid of ’em!!
        Then go about our business.
        There are some faces still around from the Douglas Admin., such as David Obrien.
        I think we have more opportunity that most realize.

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