Ex-Vermont US attorney to seek GOP nod for open Senate seat

February 22, 2022 GMT
FILE— Former Vermont U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Newport, Vt. Nolan announced on Feb. 22, 2022, that she is running for the Republican nomination to seek the state's open seat in the United States Senate in the November election. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)
FILE— Former Vermont U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Newport, Vt. Nolan announced on Feb. 22, 2022, that she is running for the Republican nomination to seek the state's open seat in the United States Senate in the November election. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)
FILE— Former Vermont U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Newport, Vt. Nolan announced on Feb. 22, 2022, that she is running for the Republican nomination to seek the state's open seat in the United States Senate in the November election. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)
FILE— Former Vermont U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Newport, Vt. Nolan announced on Feb. 22, 2022, that she is running for the Republican nomination to seek the state's open seat in the United States Senate in the November election. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)
FILE— Former Vermont U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Newport, Vt. Nolan announced on Feb. 22, 2022, that she is running for the Republican nomination to seek the state's open seat in the United States Senate in the November election. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)

A former U.S. attorney for Vermont announced Tuesday she is running for the Republican nomination to seek the state’s open seat in the United States Senate in the November election.

In her announcement, Christina Nolan, 42, said she would focus on reaching across the aisle to improve public safety by reducing crime, address the high costs of inflation and tackle the opioid crisis.

In a statement, Nolan condemned what she called the gridlock and partisanship in Congress.

“Leaders in Washington of both parties have lost their way,” she said. “They are more interested in fighting with each other and beating the other party. It’s cynicism and gridlock.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy announced in November that he would step down from the seat he has held since 1975. Vermont’s lone U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat, has already announced he will seek the Senate seat.

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In a statement, Welch called this year’s election crucial. He said that for the last 15 years he has been working to earn the trust of all Vermonters.

“I’ll vigorously campaign across the state and listen to all Vermonters, because I’ve spent my career doing this work the Vermont way,” Welch said. “I listen more than I talk, build coalitions, and fight hard for working people. I believe that cooperation creates community and conflict creates division.”

The Vermont primary is Aug. 9.

The decisions by Leahy and Welch will create the first open seats in Vermont’s three-member congressional delegation since 2006, when independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders moved from the U.S. House to the Senate and Welch took his seat in the House.

Vermont remains the only state in the country that has never sent a woman or a member of a minority community to represent the state in Washington. So far three Democratic women politicians have announced plans to seek the U.S. House seat now held by Welch.

Nolan served as an assistant United States attorney in Vermont from 2010 to 2017 when she was confirmed for the post of U.S. Attorney. She resigned last year and she has been practicing law in Burlington.

She says she wants to go to Washington to serve people, not a political party and its agenda.

“When we elect a new generation of leaders with a fresh perspective, new energy, people who have servants’ hearts, we can chart a new course where we start reaching across the aisle and treating each other the way Vermonters treat each other: like neighbors,” Nolan said.