Senator Peter Welch


Peter Welch has beePeter-Welch-Initial-(1).jpgn a champion for working Vermonters throughout his career. Since his election to the House of Representatives in 2006, he has been widely recognized as a thoughtful and effective legislator who chooses governing over gridlock.

Peter’s record reflects his strong commitment to addressing difficult challenges facing our state and nation: affordability, childcare, climate change, and protecting our democracy. In an era of partisanship, he has worked across the aisle to advance common-sense solutions to the issues that matter to Vermonters.

Peter was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1947. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1969. After working in Chicago fighting housing discrimination as one of the first Robert F. Kennedy Fellows, he enrolled in law school at the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated in 1973.

After law school, he settled in White River Junction, Vermont, where he worked as a public defender before founding a small law practice. He was first elected to represent Windsor County in the Vermont Senate in 1980. In 1985, he was unanimously elected by his colleagues to lead the chamber, becoming the first Democrat in Vermont history to hold the position of President Pro Tempore.

In 2006, Peter was elected to Vermont’s only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. His campaign gained nationwide attention for being the only contested congressional race in the country where both candidates refused to air negative ads.

In Congress, Peter has been a leading advocate for clean energy and energy efficiency, cutting the price of prescription drugs, investing in infrastructure, and expanding broadband and telemedicine in rural America.

Peter served as a Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. He also served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

In 2022, he was elected to the United States Senate, where he plans to continue working across the political spectrum to serve Vermonters.

He is married to Margaret Cheney, commissioner of the Vermont Public Utility Commission. They share a home in Norwich, Vermont.