Miriam Berry, Republican, from Essex

Why are you running this year?

It was February when I initially launched my bid for Congress. Then COVID-19 struck. It confirmed what I know deep down: Vermont and the United States need a nurse in the House.

What's the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?

Vermont's biggest challenge is how to come back from and thrive in this new pandemic age. It has touched every aspect of our being, from raising children to how we worship to how we pay the bills.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont's economy recovers from the effects COVID-19?

To help Vermont recover, we need to help small businesses get back on their feet. For example, I will work to incentivize smaller shipping companies and local businesses. Many small merchandisers offer quality items but are in competition with the giant Amazon, receiving lower priority from the big shipping companies.

What are your top priorities?

My top priorities include caring for our aging Veterans, price transparency for medical procedures, finding safe ways to return to living & thriving during and after the pandemic. We need to stop partisan bickering and look at what will help heal and reunite us as a nation.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

I am not a career politician. I worked my way from nursing assistant to LPN to RN. I know the shame of not having ten bucks for a lousy office present. I also know the pride of achieving a dream while helping others along the way.

I'm also a musician. We need more joy in the House!

Peter Welch, Democrat, from Norwich

Why are you running this year?

I am running to help lead our country and state through an unprecedented and challenging time. We are currently dealing with three concurrent crises: a global pandemic which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, mass unemployment and economic pain for individuals and small businesses, and systematic racism in our society. We must acknowledge this reality and fight everyday to address each of these issues together. Since the start of the COVID outbreak, I have had the privilege of participating in over 100 meetings with Vermonters across the state to hear how they are doing and how the federal government can help. These meetings have been sobering, but also inspiring. I’m running for our teachers, who have found ways to educate our children safely and effectively. I’m running for our front line providers caring for our family and friends and those who are keeping groceries stores open and farms running. I’m running for the small business owners who are struggling to stay afloat during this crisis, and for their employees who may have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. And I am running for our Black and Brown neighbors and friends who have been systematically marginalized because of the color of their skin. I will fight for a society that is finally free of bigotry and inequality. 

What's the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?

These are challenging times. Vermonters are wondering how they’re going to stay healthy, provide for their families and keep their jobs. We are also reckoning with hundreds of years of racial injustice that has been laid bare by brutal killings caught on video. We must work together to help each other get through these tough times and build a better, more just society.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont's economy recovers from the effects COVID-19?

The federal government is the only entity with the financial resources capable of helping states, businesses and individuals recover. Congress must pass additional COVID relief legislation to provide Vermonters with additional aid to ensure we can recover quickly and fully. The federal government must provide more direct aid to individuals in the form of expanded unemployment insurance, direct payments and increased food and housing assistance. We also need to provide our small businesses with the help that they need to stay open and able to fully pay employees through the pandemic. Finally, we need to provide aid to states and localities to address their budget shortfalls and the increased needs of school districts having to provide a safe learning environment for children. 

What are your top priorities?

This year, I have been doing all I can to deliver more aid for Vermonters impacted by the COVID pandemic. I am focused on passing police reforms and beginning to address the systemic racial injustices that have hurt our country for too long. I also continue to push Congress to enact prescription drug reforms to lower the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans. Finally, we are in a climate emergency. I am committed to undoing the damage wrought by the Trump administration and working to pass a comprehensive and bold climate plan to address the climate crisis. 

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

I have spent the majority of my career working for Vermonters. From my time in the State Senate to the past 14 years in Congress, I have always fought to improve the lives of Vermonters. If I am reelected to Congress, I will continue to bring the “Vermont way” -- hard work, civility, respect, and pragmatic progressive values -- to Washington.

Also running: Peter Becker, Independent, from Rutland City

Christopher Helali, Communist, from Vershire

Marcia Horne, Independent, from Barre City

Shawn Orr, Independent, from Weston

Jerry Trudell, Independent, from Saint George

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