Letter to the editor: Gray has the experience Vermonters need

In the Democrat primary for Rep. Peter Welch’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, one candidate in particular stands out to me and that is Molly Gray. Despite what others have been saying, she has the best national and international experience for U.S. Congress.

Having grown up on a Vermont farm and having attended UVM and Vermont Law School, she understands how our laws impact all parts of the state and all Vermonters. Her Vermont legal experience includes clerking for a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Vermont and serving as an assistant attorney general. As lieutenant governor, she serves in the Vermont executive branch, working directly with a Republican governor. This background has made her well-versed in the issues facing Vermont and the legislation coming out of our statehouse.

More importantly, she has relevant legislative experience on the national level as a Congressional aide to Rep. Peter Welch (she also interned for Sen. Leahy when she was a student at UVM). Being an aide in the U.S. Congress and having a law degree gives her insight into how legislation works its way from bill through committees to law at the federal level and gives her familiarity with the kinds of backroom politics and deals that need to happen to move legislation forward. Becca Balint has experience in the Vermont legislature, but Vermont is very different than D.C.!

Her international experience is also a huge advantage. When she worked for the International Red Cross, she led field missions to a variety of developing countries, including Haiti, Uganda, Georgia, the Balkans, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As Lt. Governor, I know Molly was a key member of a delegation of Vermont officials who visited North Macedonia (a country we have a state partnership with) and met with their officials here. These talks revolved around improving economic, agricultural, and long-standing military ties with the Vermont National Guard. In addition to her J.D. law degree, she has a master’s degree in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. This background and education and her focus on human rights throughout her career gives her the understanding of foreign affairs and economic and security agreements that a U.S. Representative in Congress needs.

It’s going to take someone bold and politically savvy in Washington politics to challenge the Republicans while also finding common ground to work together to actually pass legislation. It’s going to take someone with a global view to understand how to effectively work with the rest of the world to solve global problems such as climate change, improve international security, and address economic, health, and social challenges. Molly Gray is that person.

If you want to learn more about her experience and views, check out her website mollyforvermont.com/meet-molly/ (and Wikipedia) to learn more about her background, her qualifications, and the issues she supports. I hope you will consider voting for her.

Brenda Ellis


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