Peter Hirschfeld

Reporter

Peter Hirschfeld covers state government and the Vermont Legislature. He is based in VPR’s Capital Bureau located across the street from Vermont’s Statehouse.

Hirschfeld is a leading Vermont journalist who has covered the Statehouse since 2009, most recently as bureau chief for the Rutland Herald and Times Argus. He began his career in 2003, working as a local sports reporter and copy editor at the Times Argus.

Ways to Connect

A row of three empty chairs set up at a table with microphones for a panel.
onurdongel / iStock

Vermont branches of the NAACP will hold their first-ever candidate forums in Rutland and Brattleboro this weekend, but most of the major-party nominees invited to participate have chosen not to attend.

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan stands before a microphone.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has taken over an investigation into allegations of racial harassment against a sitting state lawmaker in Bennington, amid criticism from racial justice advocates over local law enforcement’s handling of the case.

Bennington Rep. Kiah Morris, right, withdrew from her reelection campaign last month. Morris says racial harassment in her home district became too much for her family to bear.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

Many Vermonters were shocked last month when the state’s only African-American female lawmaker announced that, after years of racial harassment, she was withdrawing from her re-election campaign.

Tabitha Pohl-Moore, the Vermont director of the NAACP, was less surprised.

An illustration of a hand holding bills of money.
MHJ / iStock

In recent election cycles, super PACs have sought to influence electoral contests from the governor on down in Vermont — and 2018 is proving to be no exception.

An OxyContin bottle with pills arranged around it.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

Vermont has became the latest state to file suit against Purdue Pharma, the Connecticut-based drugmaker that manufactures the opioid painkiller OxyContin.

The Vermont GOP elected 5 candidates Wednesday for the general election ballot. They are, from left, Rick Kenyon for auditor; Rick Morton for treasurer; Janssen Willhoit for attorney general; Anya Tynio for U.S. House; Lawrence Zupan for U.S. Senate.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont sets aside the second Tuesday in August for its primary elections, but the Vermont GOP had to wait until Wednesday night to find out who would represent the party in some of the most important statewide offices during the general election.

Gov. Phil Scott signed the gun bill into law at contentious ceremony at the Statehouse in April. A gun rights group says several provisions in the new law violate the Vermont Constitution.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

Vermont’s new gun law is under fresh legal fire from gun rights advocates, who are challenging the constitutionality of universal background checks, raising the legal age to purchase a gun to 21 years old and a ban on bump stocks.

Headshot of Rep. Kiah Morris in the Vermont House chamber.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office is investigating online threats made against a state representative from Bennington.

Looking over the Winooski River to a building on a cloudy day.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Residents in Winooski will be voting on more than just political candidates in November.

The Winooski City Council voted Monday to put a proposed charter change on the ballot that would give non-U.S. citizens the right to vote in municipal elections.

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist says getting the endorsement of the Progressive Party is a key part of their strategy to win the election
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Democratic candidate for governor Christine Hallquist is receiving threats of violence after her historic victory in last week’s primary.

H. Brooke Paige won the GOP nomination to six statewide offices in Vermont’s primary election. He has withdrawn from five of the six races he won.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

The Washington, Vermont, man who won the Republican nomination for six statewide offices last week had planned to withdraw from most of those contests, but a legal tussle with the Secretary of State’s Office has H. Brooke Paige reconsidering his plans.

Secretary of State Jim Condos, left, and Tess Taylor, vice chair of the Vermont Democratic Party, certify election results at Condos' office Tuesday.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Fears of low turnout for Vermont’s midsummer primary proved to be unfounded, as the final vote counts certified by the Secretary of State’s office Tuesday show historically high participation in last week’s primary elections.

A sign that says RESTROOM in capital letters and then in braille. White text on a black sign.
Screenshot from Vermont Division of Fire Safety, Courtesy

A new state law requires all single-stall bathrooms in Vermont to be labeled as gender neutral, but one state official said many business owners don’t seem to have gotten the news.

Democratic candidate for governor Christine Hallquist introduces herself to a prospective voter in Barre last month.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Many Vermonters say Christine Hallquist’s victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary is already building visibility for the transgender community.

The primary races are decided, and we're on to the general election campaign in Vermont. Christine Hallquist won the Democratic nomination for governor, and incumbent Gov. Phil Scott won the Republican nomination.

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist says getting the endorsement of the Progressive Party is a key part of their strategy to win the election
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

A midsummer primary in one of the smallest states in the country took on historic national significance Tuesday night when Christine Hallquist became the first openly transgender candidate in U.S. history to win a major party gubernatorial nomination.

Secretary of State Jim Condos says Vermont has instituted a number of security measures to prevent malicious hackers from breaching the state's elections systems.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

A cybersecurity firm hired earlier this year to try to hack into Vermont’s elections system uncovered a potential vulnerability, according to records requested by VPR. But Secretary of State Jim Condos says his office has since mitigated the risk.

Ethan Sonneborn, center, prepares for a gubernatorial debate against fellow candidates including John Rodgers, left, and James Ehlers, right. Sonneborn says he thinks his youth is an asset in the race for governor, not a liability.
Pete / VPR

The 14-year-old running for governor this year realizes his age makes him an unconventional candidate, but Ethan Sonneborn is convinced that once he has your curiosity, there’s a good chance he’ll be able to get your vote.

Clockwise from top left: James Ehlers, Christine Hallquist, Brenda Siegel and Ethan Sonneborn
Clockwise from top left: Peter Hirschfeld, VPR; courtesy of Hallquist campaign; courtesy of Siegel campaign; courtesy of Sonneborn campaign

Vermont Edition continues our series of live debates with candidates for selected statewide and federal office with the Democratic candidates for governor: James Ehlers, Christine Hallquist, Brenda Siegel and Ethan Sonneborn.

Christine Hallquist campaigns at a parade in downtown Barre last month. Hallquist, a former utility executive, says she'll bring a new style of leadership to the governor's office.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

When Christine Hallquist took over as CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative in 2005, the member-owned utility was by all accounts in choppy financial waters.

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