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Brownsville Doctor Declares Challenge to Welch

  • Dr. Dan Freilich, of Brownsville, speaks to supporters during an event to open his candidacy for U.S. Congress at Trail Break in White River Junction, Vt., Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Freilich will challenge Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., for the state's single seat in the House of Representatives. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dr. Dan Freilich, of Brownsville, talks with guests during a reception at Trail Break, in White River Junction, Vt., Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Freilich formally declared his candidacy for U.S. Congress at the event. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Published: 1/21/2018 11:12:22 PM
Modified: 1/21/2018 11:12:25 PM

White River Junction — U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., will officially face a primary challenger in 2018, after Dr. Dan Freilich announced his candidacy for Congress on Sunday afternoon.

Freilich, a Brownsville resident, made the announcement during a reception with supporters at Trail Break Taps & Tacos in White River Junction.

The 53-year-old currently works as a physician specializing in infectious diseases at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction. He also serves as a captain in the Navy Reserve after 15 years of active duty.

In a news release announcing his entrance into the race, Freilich labels himself a “progressive Democrat” whose campaign will not accept contributions from corporations or political action committees.

His platform includes “massive tax hikes on the ultra rich,” universal healthcare, investment in renewable energy and mass transit, as well as “restoring the U.S.’s role as a leader in environmental stewardship.”

Freilich moved to Brownsville in fall 2016 but also spends time in the Washington, D.C., area, where his wife works for a think tank in the homeland security field, and where he fulfills some of his duties as a reservist.

He previously ran against U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., in 2010, losing in the primary and also as an independent on the general election ballot. At the time, he owned a home in southern Vermont.

Welch, 70, faced no primary or Republican contender in 2016, and defeated Liberty Union candidate Erica Clawson with 90 percent of the vote.

Responding to Freilich’s candidacy, Welch said he stands “eager to engage Vermonters during the upcoming campaign and continue to fight for their success while working to fix a broken Congress.”




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