Peter Welch ’73 has won election to Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Welch, 59, a Vermont democrat and leader of the Vermont State Senate, brings a distinguished legal career and record of public service to his new congressional post.
A native of Springfield, Massachusetts, Welch attended Holy Cross College, graduating magna cum laude in 1969. He received a law degree from Boalt Hall in 1973, and returned to Vermont to practice law. In 1980, Welch was elected to the Vermont Senate as a representative from Windsor County, and chosen as minority leader during his second term. After Democrats gained control, he was unanimously selected as president pro tempore. During his term in the Vermont State Senate, Welch worked for legislative reforms in environmental, tax and education policy, and helped establish the Housing and Land Conservation Trust Fund to finance construction of affordable housing and conservation of farm and forest lands.
Welch won the Democratic nomination for governor of Vermont in 1990, but lost in the general election to former Vermont Governor Richard Snelling. Welch returned to the Vermont Senate in 2001, when he was appointed by then-Governor Howard Dean to fill a vacant seat in Windsor County. He was elected to the seat in 2002 and again in 2004. A longstanding supporter of Boalt, Welch is a partner in the personal injury firm of Welch, Graham & Manby in White River Junction, Vermont. He replaces Bernie Sanders, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in the November 7 election.