Vermont Democratic Party

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Vermont Democratic Party
Chairman Jake Perkinson
Headquarters Montpelier, VT
Ideology American liberalism
National affiliation Democratic Party
Colors Blue
Seats in the Upper House
20 / 30
Seats in the Lower House
98 / 150
Politics of the United States
Political parties

The Vermont Democratic Party is the affiliate branch of the United States Democratic Party in the state of Vermont. The party advocates progressivism, American liberalism and social democracy in the Vermont government. Traditionally, Vermont is known to be a Republican state. Republicans dominated Vermont politics from 1854-1960.[1] However, since 1960, Democrats have made a resurgence in Vermont politics. Today they are the dominant party of the state. They hold every major office at both the federal and local level except for the Lieutenant Governor.


The Vermont Democratic Party is relatively young. Since the state was dominated by Republicans, the United States Democratic Party gave little attention to Democrats in the state.[2] It wasn't until the 1960s that the Democrats started to pull together a statewide organization.[3] The exact date or year the state party was formed in unknown. It is difficult to conduct research about the party's history because it does not retain archives of historical documents.[4]

Ideology, policies, and party platform[edit]


The Vermont Democratic party is rooted in progressivism and American liberalism. The state is considered a breeding ground for Progressives and Independents, many of which have close ties to the Vermont Democratic Party. Most Progressives run under the Democratic Party banner in Vermont.


The Vermont Democrats advocate for socialized universal health care, equality for all, and social justice.[5] Many of the party's proposals have been adopted, including universal health care (Green Mountain Care), gay marriage and the abolition of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station. The party tends towards environmentalism, favoring measures to protect Vermont's natural resources and ecosystem. Democrats in the state have also called for Vermont to be the first state to use only renewable energy sources.

Party platform[edit]

The current party platform was approved on September 11, 2010 by the party.[6] It conforms very closely to the United States Democratic Party platform, addressing issues such as; the economy, the environment, foreign policy, and civil rights.

Economic opportunity[edit]

The primary focus of the Vermont Democratic Party's economic platform rests with keeping businesses owned and operated in Vermont. There should be heavy focus on entrepreneurship and job creation. The party supports a strong and vibrant middle class that encourages youth to pursue careers within the state.[7] Its main focus is economic growth and job creation. The party believes that the state government should make Vermont a desirable place for people to bring their business. The party plans on doing this by giving financial incentives to business that are energy efficient, are located in developing areas within Vermont, and provide workers with a livable wage.[clarification needed] The party wants to verse[clarification needed] the Bush tax cuts.[8] It believes taxes should be comparable to the amount of money one makes.[clarification needed] It thinks the wealthy should be taxed more, while tax cuts should be given to the middle class.

Environmental issues[edit]

The party believes a healthy environment is essential to the quality of life and recognizes the global climate change as a major problem. The party believes everyone as a moral and ethical obligation to protect and conserve the environment. It is committed to a rigorous and constant enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. The party is committed to support alternative energy investments to find a cleaner alternative to oil. It also supports laws that place a cap on carbon emissions of both public transportation and personal vehicles.[9]

Foreign policy[edit]

The party is opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It believes the decision to go to war was ill-advised and has led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people. The party supports President Obama's decision to withdraw troops from Iraq and hopes a full withdraw from Afghanistan is near.

Civil rights[edit]

The Vermont Democratic Party supports equal rights amendments to the Constitution and the protection of all citizens, regardless of race, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, military service, or creed. It supports same-sex marriage. It also supports the repeals of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. The party also denounces torture and believes all people have due process rights that should never be violated. The party strongly supported President Obama's decision to ban waterboarding from being used on suspected terrorists.[10]

Howard Dean[edit]

Howard Dean announcing his run for President

Howard Dean is possibly the most famous politician to come out of Vermont in recent years. He served as Governor of Vermont from 1991-2003. In 2004 he ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president. He had a poor showing in many states. The only primary he won was in Vermont. Dean also served as the Democratic National Committee Chairman from 2005-2009. He was instrumental in help Barack Obama become president. His 50-State-Strategy is widely considered the reason Obama was able to win traditionally Republican states in the 2008 presidential election.

Current elected officials[edit]

The Vermont Democratic Party controls five of the six statewide offices and holds super-majorities in the Vermont Senate and the Vermont House of Representatives. Democrats hold one of the state's U.S. Senate seats; the other is held by independent Bernie Sanders, who caucuses with the Democrats but is not a member of the party. The Democrats also hold the state's At-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives; Representative Peter Welch, first elected in 2006, is the first Democrat to represent Vermont in the lower house of Congress since 1961 and the first House Democrat from Vermont to be reelected in more than 150 years.

Members of Congress[edit]

U.S. Senate[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Statewide offices[edit]

Current Governor of Vermont Peter Shumlin


Notable members[edit]





  1. ^ Appleton, Andrew & Ward, Daniel. "State Party Profiles". Congressional Quarterly Inc, 1997. p. 324.
  2. ^ Appleton, Andrew & Ward, Daniel. "State Party Profiles". Congressional Quarterly Inc, 1997. p. 330.
  3. ^ Appleton, Andrew & Ward, Daniel. "State Party Profiles". Congressional Quarterly Inc, 1997. p. 330.
  4. ^ Appleton, Andrew & Ward, Daniel. "State Party Profiles". Congressional Quarterly Inc, 1997. p. 332.
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External links[edit]