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Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint’s campaign on Tuesday reported raising more than $125,000 in the first day of her bid for Congress. Lt. Gov. Molly Gray’s congressional campaign reported a first-day total of $50,000 and first-week contributions exceeding $111,000. Both women are seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S House seat now held by U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. 

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BRATTLEBORO — The race for Congress is only a few days old, and already campaign contributions are piling up.

Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint’s campaign on Tuesday reported raising more than $125,000 in the first day of her bid for Congress.

That news came 24 hours after Lt. Gov. Molly Gray’s congressional campaign reported a first-day total of $50,000 and first-week contributions exceeding $111,000.

Both women are seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S House seat now held by U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. They reported having raised donations from all 14 Vermont counties.

The early giving is considered important by the campaigns for proving broad-based support with which to leverage future donations.

In 2006, the last time Vermont’s U.S. House seat was open, Welch raised $2,066,308, and Republican runner-up Martha Rainville raised $921,655.

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Balint’s campaign held a Zoom event for supporters on Monday night, raising more than $10,000.

“I am astonished and overwhelmed with the level of support we received yesterday. This is a hard time for so many families, and the fact that people chipped in where they could means so much to me. This is going to be a campaign powered by people, and yesterday showed me just how many people that is,” Balint said.

Gray declared her candidacy on Dec. 6.

“I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support since launching this campaign one week ago,” Gray said. “Having strong, early support from every corner of the state gives us the resources to build a truly inclusive campaign that reaches every Vermont community.”

State Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale, D-Chittenden, is also considering a run for the seat. To date, no Republican candidates have come forward.

Welch is stepping down to run for the U.S. Senate.

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.