2022 Wisconsin, Vermont and Minnesota Election Results

Becca Balint.
Becca Balint. (WilsonRing/AP)

Becca Balint will win the Democratic nomination for Vermont’s only House seat, CNN projects, putting her on the path to becoming the first woman to represent the state in Congress.

She is running to take the seat of Representative Peter Welch, who is running to replace incumbent Senator Patrick Leahy in the Senate.

Vermont is the only state that has never sent a woman to Congress, so Balint would make history if elected in November.

The candidate, a former schoolteacher who currently serves as acting president of the state Senate, defeated Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray and physician Louis Meyers.

Balint entered the primary with the support of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and other prominent progressive politicians and groups. She received a boost during the campaign when State Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale dropped out and endorsed her, cementing the progressive vote. Balint also benefited from significant outside spending from the LGBTQ Victory Fund (Balint is gay), which contributed about $1 million to the race, and the campaign arm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Gray attracted support from more moderate heads of state, including retired Senator Leahy, who, although he did not issue an official endorsement, said he had voted for Gray and, by through his PAC, had donated $5,000 to his cause. Past Governors of Vermont. Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin also supported Gray.

But in a contest that provided few notable political distinctions between the leading contenders, Balint’s success in claiming the progressive mantle – she was also endorsed by the senses. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of neighboring Massachusetts — likely helped her among primary voters, who tend to lean even further left than even the average Vermont Democrat.

“A high turnout for us was about 25%, so we’re not talking about true Democratic party representation in Vermont,” said Rich Clark, a University of Castleton professor and Vermont pollster. , on the eve of the primary. “They will be the most engaged (the voters deciding the winner) and they will tend to be on the progressive side.”

Balint will enter the general election in November as a heavy favorite to win the seat vacated by Rep. Welch. It was the first Democratic House primary in Vermont without an incumbent on the ballot since 2006, when Sanders gave up his seat to run for the Senate.