Charity Clark.JPG

Charity Clark has announced her candidacy for Vermont Attorney General.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

WILLISTON — Charity Clark, an attorney with eight years experience in the Vermont Attorney General’s office, including the past four as its chief of staff, is running to become the first woman to hold the position, she said Monday.

Clark, who recently resigned as chief of staff for Attorney General T.J. Donovan, officially announced her candidacy Monday as a Democrat in Winooski. Donovan announced two weeks ago that he will not seek reelection to the seat.

Clark joins Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault in the race for the Democratic nomination. She said her experience in the AG’s office – four years as an assistant under former AG Bill Sorrell, and four as the person responsible for managing the 150-person department’s operations – makes her the best candidate for the job.

A 1993 graduate of Burr and Burton Seminary – now Burr and Burton Academy – Clark is a former Manchester resident and member of the school’s board of trustees. Her family owned the former Clark’s Quality Foods IGA supermarket in Londonderry until selling the business in 2019.

Clark graduated from the University of Vermont in 1997 and served in Gov. Howard Dean’s administration as a policy analyst. She attended Boston College School of Law, earning a degree in 2005.

As chief of staff, Clark said she has supervised the consumer assistance program, overseen the office’s legislative agenda and expungement clinics, handled communications, including the office website and constituent correspondence, and served as a chief advisor to Donovan.

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

“Given my background growing up working in my father’s grocery store, of course consumer issues will always feel personal to me. I’ve seen it all,” she said of her interest in consumer protection.

“I believe that public safety is paramount and reforms are needed to align our criminal justice system with Vermont’s values,” Clark said. She said she would focus on broadening opportunities for criminal record expungement, noting she led the office’s expungement clinics the past two years and advocated for expansion of the state expungement statute.

“I will bring a fresh perspective to issues like violence against women and domestic violence,” Clark said, “working with stakeholders to work forward a safer Vermont for everyone.”

She also said she will “do everything in my power to make sure all people have reproductive liberty.” In November, the state’s voters will consider Proposition 5, which would enshrine reproductive liberty in the Vermont Constitution.

Clark also pledged that her office would be an “enthusiastic partner in compliance” with the climate goals of the Vermont Climate Council, and would make sure the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force has the adequate resources to conduct its “incredibly important work.”

Clark’s Vermont ties run nine generations deep: She is a descendant of Thomas Chittenden, the state’s first governor, and her grandmother, Ardis Edgerton Clark, was a frequent model subject for her West Arlington neighbor, Norman Rockwell.

Greg Sukiennik covers government and politics for Vermont News & Media. Reach him at gsukiennik@benningtonbanner.com.

Greg Sukiennik has worked at all three Vermont News & Media newspapers and was their managing editor from 2017-19. He previously worked for ESPN.com, for the AP in Boston, and at The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass.