After four terms in the Vermont House, Rep. Kesha Ram (D-Burlington) says she's ready to serve as the state's second-in-command. Ram tells Seven Days she's running for lieutenant governor.
"I have an eight-year track record of building consensus with conviction and courage in the legislature," she says. "I think I have been a strong advocate for the people and have gotten results."
The Burlington Democrat has been reaching out to lawmakers this week to enlist their support and plans to hold a formal campaign kickoff on October 26 at Burlington's Main Street Landing.
Ram, who is 29 years old, isn't the first young Democrat to announce plans to run for the position, which is being vacated by Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott. Twenty-eight-year-old Brandon Riker announced earlier this year that he's seeking the job. But unlike Riker, a political novice, Ram has served in the legislature since she was 22.
For the past three years, she's worked as a public engagement specialist for the city of Burlington. Ram says she hopes to remain in the city's employ even as she seeks higher office.
"I think anyone who knows me sees me as a connector and someone who can take an agenda and advance it and bring the right people to the table," she says.
As lieutenant governor, Ram says, she would focus on strengthening the middle class, increasing access to higher education, expanding family leave policies and making childcare more affordable.
Brandon Batham, who chairs the Windham County Democratic Party, will manage her campaign.
Randy Brock, a former state auditor and senator, is the only Republican in the race. The 2012 gubernatorial nominee announced two weeks ago that he would make another run for statewide office.
Ram says she plans to “stay really positive” in her campaign and hopes to engage in “a good exchange of ideas” with Riker, Brock and any others who enter the race.