Molly Gray wants your vote


Adriana Eldred

Molly Gray

Assistant Attorney General Molly Gray sat down with a Basement Medicine reporter last Monday at the Black Cap Café in Stowe to talk about her bid for lieutenant governor of Vermont. Gray, a Vermont native, grew up in Newbury. “I grew up on a vegetable and dairy farm and was born in the farmhouse,” says Gray, who now lives in South Burlington.

Gray works in the criminal division and is not new to law or politics. She earned her BA from UVM in 2006, then earned her JD at the Vermont Law School in 2014, and then her LLM at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in 2016. For reference, the last five lieutenant governors had a bachelor’s or lower, never mind an LLM.

Gray, 36, says she is compelled to run for office because there is a need for more generational representation in the government. “We talk a lot about the demographic challenges that Vermont faces, but we don’t have the voices who are impacted and are committed to being here at the table,” says Gray. “I am that generation and I think now is the time to put that generation at the forefront and squarely in the position of statewide office.”

The average age of Vermont lawmakers is around 61, according to a 2018 NBC5 report.
Gray says she is running to rejuvenate the lieutenant governor’s office, hoping to create a more accessible environment for working-age adults. “We have created avenues for access through listening tours around the state to try to engage with people who normally don’t engage with government,” says Gray. “Working families, our diverse agricultural community, our diverse business community, those who are founding co working spaces, and really, really giving a voice to the generation that is committed to be here and committed to thriving.”

Gray’s campaign is also working with several young professional organizations around the state, including Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA).

“We have not heard from the thousands of young farmers and food producers, who are supporting our rural agricultural economy, trying to get to get them engaged to get them involved,” she says.
In terms of women in politics, Gray says, “We don’t have statewide office holders who reflect the diversity of our state; fifty-one percent of our state is female. We have one incredible woman treasurer. But I do think now is the time to have leadership that reflects our values and reflects our diversity.”
One of the ways Gray hopes to accomplish this revitalization is to focus on family, rural communities, and environmental activism. “For me, that’s ensuring Vermont is the best place to raise and support families that we reinvigorate and revitalize our rural communities to be sustainable and to thrive for 2020 and beyond,” she said.

A minimum wage bill was recently vetoed by Governor Phil Scott, which would have raised it the $12.55 by 2022, from the current $10.78 wage.

When asked about her views on the minimum wage, Gray took a broader stance, saying that the issue is a part of a bigger problem the state is facing. “I think raising the minimum wage is extremely important to giving all Vermonters more money and more access to opportunity, but I think that our bigger challenge is how do we bring people home?” says Gray.

One of the struggles Vermont faces with keeping people in the state is the cost of higher education. According to a 2019 Business Insider article, the average Vermonter owes $35,135.

The Legislature currently funds the Vermont State College system at less than 15%.
“We need to rethink and revalue higher education,” says Gray.

She says that education needs to become more career-oriented to help communities thrive. “So if we need mechanics who are able to work on electric vehicles, can we work with Vermont Technical College to make sure that training is in place?” says Gray. “If we need more nurses who are able to provide for our aging population, how do we work with Castleton State [University] to ensure that there’s a pipeline from school to employment?”

Gray places a large emphasis on trades, saying that a reevaluation of how we access our trade and technical colleges can help ensure people stay in Vermont, “and graduate without massive amounts of debt.”

While she announced her bid on Jan. 27, her official campaign kick-off will launch next week on Feb. 27.
Gray has a message for young voters, who statistically are underrepresented at the polls.

“It’s our time to be more engaged in government and to have a say in what we want Vermont to look like and to be for us moving forward. And we are bold, we’ll be inclusive, we’ll be engaging. And we’re about finding real practical solutions to our biggest challenges.”

You can see more news about Molly Gray’s campaign at