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Vermont Democratic US Rep. Peter Welch easily re-elected

November 7, 2018

FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2017 file photo, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., speaks in front of the West Wing after a bipartisan meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington. Welch, Vermont's lone representative in the U.S. House, was re-elected in the Nov. 6 general election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Peter Welch, Vermont’s lone representative in the U.S. House, cruised to re-election Tuesday to his seventh term as the state’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Welch defeated Republican Anya Tynio and two third-party candidates.

Since Welch was first elected to the House in 2006, he has consistently been one of Vermont’s most popular politicians, easily winning re-election every two years.

In a victory speech at a Burlington hotel, Welch said the current political climate shows that politics is important.

“Political campaigns and elections really matter,” Welch said in a victory speech at a Burlington hotel. “The worst thing that we can believe in in politics is that it doesn’t matter.”

Tynio described herself as a conservative Republican who is “a strong supporter of the constitution, the second amendment, law enforcement, our military and veterans.” She also said she’s a pro-life Christian and fiscal conservative.

After conceding the race to Welch, she said she felt her conservative message didn’t resonate in Chittenden County.

“But it did resonate with a lot of voters that I spoke with around the state and I have no regrets about this campaign,” Tynio said. “I gave it my all.”

She was chosen by the party to run against Welch after the man who won the nomination in Vermont’s August primary turned it down.

In the primary, H. Brooke Paige won the U.S. House nomination along with the nominations to five other statewide GOP offices. But after the primary, Paige turned down all the nominations except that of secretary of state, allowing the party to choose someone for the position.

Welch, of Norwich, traditionally one of the most liberal members of Congress, said Vermont residents must fight what he feels are the disastrous policies of President Donald Trump. Welch has worked to pass a comprehensive climate bill, cut prescription drug prices, raise the national minimum wage and expand quality affordable health care by passing Medicare for All.

Welch, 71, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He went to law school at the University of California, Berkeley. He settled in Vermont in the 1970s, first working as a public defender before founding a law office. He was first elected to the state Senate in 1980 but took a break from electoral politics in the 1990s. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2002.

Welch was elected to the U.S. House in 2006 after Bernie Sanders left the chamber to run for the U.S. Senate, a seat he now holds.

In the bio on her website, Tynio, 25, said she was passionate about agriculture, helping hard working Vermonters and preserving Vermont’s beauty.

The other candidates are independent Cris Ericson and Laura Potter of the Liberty Union Party.

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