(Fox News) Vermont Democrat Congressman Peter Welch will seek his party’s nomination to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Bernie Sanders, who is running for president.
In a statement Friday, Welch said, “I am proud to stand today as the official candidate for United States Senate.”
Welch, a six-term congressman who serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, announced his plan to seek the seat last month. Democratic voters will pick a U.S. Senate nominee in August 2020.
Here’s a look at what Welch said in his own statement:
“My visit with Vermonters during the summer culminated in an outpouring of support. More than 1,500 Vermonters wrote to me offering words of encouragement and encouragement, to offer their opinions on the differences between me and other potential candidates, to support my campaign in general, and to recommend that I run for the United States Senate. In return, I was reminded that people across our state and nation are engaged, striving to make a better tomorrow. In Vermont, I feel we are on the cusp of something great again.
“I am inspired by the prospect of leading a consequential fight in the United States Senate. I believe Vermont can count on me as a partner in achieving the Democratic Party’s vision for our nation and our state. And I am inspired by the enthusiasm and determination of Vermonters who feel we can do great things together.
“This is a unique opportunity for Vermonters to seek not merely a place in history but a greater purpose. One that is better than our nation’s past, stronger than any attempt at dynastic power in this polarized country, more caring than the current state of politics in this town hall, more healthy than the opioid crisis, more sustainable than the condition of our infrastructure.”
In the statement, Welch urged supporters to become registered voters, reach out to their neighbors and organize themselves to run for office.
To that end, Welch said he plans to create a political action committee in Burlington, Vermont, to “discuss the big issues facing the state and nation, recruit leaders to take up these issues, and fight for progressive values.”
Prior to his announcement, Welch said he would outline his campaign platform in a series of town hall meetings with Vermonters.
“I’m taking a very tactical approach. My business experience has taught me that in politics the more you can come to meetings with one-on-one attention, the better,” Welch said at the time. “We want to open up a statewide conference so people can just come and listen and hear from us. They can communicate their concerns and they can work together to develop solutions. This is not a caucusing of any party, it’s a normal process that’s going to build consensus in our state.”