MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont State Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale made it official Thursday: She is seeking the Democratic primary nomination to run for Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives

The 35-year-old Ram Hinsdale joins Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint, who have already announced their plans to seek the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Peter Welch. Welch is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy.

If one of the three women is elected, it would be a first for Vermont, which is the only state that has never sent a woman or a minority member to represent it in Congress.

So far no main-stream Republicans have announced plans to run for the seat.

In a statement issued by her campaign, Ram Hinsdale says she's running for Congress to fight for Vermonters, democracy and the climate.

She says her legislative history, particularly on environmental issues, positions her to be a champion for a progressive agenda in Congress.

“I will bring the Vermont way to Washington, uplifting the voices of the people above corporate interests and right wing extremists who are threatening our health, our planet, and our fundamental rights," Ram Hinsdale said. “Now is the time to dream and deliver, to advance a bold vision for our multicultural democracy while building a responsive government that meets the everyday needs of Vermonters.”

The Democratic primary is in August.

Ram Hinsdale was born in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2008 and was first elected to the Vermont House the same year, serving through 2016. According to her website, she grew up in a working class family and waited tables in the family business — an Irish pub run by her Jewish American mother and Indian immigrant father.

She was elected to the state Senate in 2020.

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