Montpelier, VT — With the Vermont Primary less than four weeks away, history is already being made in the races for the State House and Senate, as a record number of women of color are running.
Many gathered at the statehouse to share their agenda and are calling on Vermonters to support women of color running for office at a time when reproductive freedom, voting rights, and personal liberties are in jeopardy nationally.
On Wednesday, they stood with Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale to share their message.
“So often people will say, ‘where are the women of color who are qualified to run,’” said Ram Hinsdale. “We are here, we are more than qualified.”
Saudia Lamont is running for the Lamoille-Washington House Seat and will look to serve alongside incumbent Avram Patt. “I am not running because I am a black woman,” said Lamont. “I am running because I have been dedicated to the work of supporting people, youth and families in our community for over a decade and it won’t stop here.”
The newly created Chittenden 23rd district race features two Democrats running to serve together. Rey Garofano is seeking re-election, as the first and only woman of Middle Eastern descent. “I am excited to return to the statehouse in January to continue to bring my equity lens to policy decisions as a person of color as an immigrant and mother of a black child growing up in Vermont.”
Leonora Dodge is hoping to fill the other 23rd district seat and be the second Latina woman to serve in the House. “I will fight to ensure that we welcome and nurture my fellow immigrants and Vermonters that are BIPOC because it is the moral thing to do and smart thing to do.”
On the Senate side, candidate Jessie Nakuma Palczewski wants to make history as the first Latina woman ever elected to Vermont’s Senate.
Palczewski is running to fill one of two seats in the Franklin County Senate District.
“I am Mexican American,” she said. “I was raised in El Paso, Texas. My husband’s career has moved us a few places and we landed in Vermont. This is the first place we felt like home.”
The Vermont Primary is Tuesday, August 9.