In Winooski, State Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale announced her candidacy to replace current Congressman Peter Welch.

Senator Hinsdale is one of three women running for Congress on the democratic side and she wouldn’t just make history as Vermont’s first female elected to Congress but she would also be Vermont’s first person of color elected to Washington.

In 2020, Hinsdale made history as the first woman of color to ever be elected to the State Senate. “I grew up in my Indian immigrant father and Jewish American mother’s Irish pub. I grew up in a small business and married into a family business, and I know what it’s like to struggle.”

Among those supporting Hinsdale in Winooski were two small business owners. Britanny and Cris own Hype Nutrition in Winooski. “So we were a brand new business in Winooski and we are people who don’t come from money, we don’t come from having a background of access to wealth.”

They credit Hinsdale for helping get their business off the ground. “We are all about creating space for BIPOC people, queer people who normally feel marginalized in normal gym settings.”

Hinsdale will be entering the race along with Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray and Senator Becca Balint.

Matthew Dickinson, a political science professor at Middlebury College, says that having three women running may discourage some men. “Certainly when you think on the democratic side, you think of someone like former Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman. He might have jumped into this race but perhaps is thinking no. This is the time for a woman and maybe I better sit this one out.”

Dickinson says voters are going to look at the candidates and move beyond gender identity. “Certainly each of them brings their own strengths to this. Obviously as a woman of color, that’s an additional historic significance.”