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

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 He has withdrawn from five of the six races he won.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 wants to make it easier for Vermonters to appeal a denial of a public records request
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.

Dan French, at podium, with Gov. Phil Scott in the background.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says his pick to serve as the state’s new secretary of education will help his administration curb spending growth in public schools.

Drew Price holds up the 30-inch pike-pickerel hybrid he caught recently in Lake Champlain. In landing the fish, he became the first person in Vermont to complete the Master Angler Sweep, which involves catching trophy-sized specimens of 33 fish species.
Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, courtesy

Fishing enthusiast Drew Price, of Colchester, has become the first person in Vermont to complete the daunting "Master Angler Sweep."

Walter Carpenter has served as a park attendant at the Waterbury Reservoir since 2008. During that time, he's developed new strategies for managing the 40,000 or so people who visit the day-use state park every summer.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

For the 40,000 or so visitors that go to the Waterbury Reservoir every summer, the 850-acre body of water has become a go-to oasis on hot summer days. But managing all that traffic, it turns out, is no simple task.

Anya Tynio is one of two Republicans vying for the GOP nomination for Vermont's seat in the U.S. House.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Anya Tynio is one of two candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. House seat currently held by Peter Welch. Vermont Edition spoke to her about her run, her support for President Trump and where she stands on issues including immigration, tariffs, gun control and health care.

Dr. Paul Seward has written a new book about his long career as an emergency room physician.
jazzIRT / iStock

Doctors have been providing emergency care for patients for as long as there have been doctors. But emergency medicine as a specialty is a relatively new development. On this Vermont Edition, we're talking to Dr. Paul Seward, one of the first physicians to specialize in emergency medicine.

The exterior of the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier on a blue-sky day.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The VPR - Vermont PBS Poll shows a majority of Vermonters favor raising the state minimum wage to $15 per hour — and Democrats hope popular support for the wage increase will lead to electoral gains in November.

The VPR-Vermont PBS Poll found that 27 percent of Vermonters are either very likely or somewhat likely to consume cannabis in the near. Of those, about one quarter say their interest is due to the advent of legalization.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR file

Thousands of Vermonters say they're more likely to consume cannabis now that the drug is legal in this state, according to results of the new VPR - Vermont PBS Poll. But experts say it’s tough to know precisely how the advent of legalization will affect usage rates in Vermont.

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

Gov. Phil Scott came under fire from gun-rights advocates when he signed a sweeping gun bill earlier this year, but the VPR - Vermont PBS Poll shows two-thirds of Vermonters support the new law.

Ariel Quiros, seen far left at a 2015 press conference, used the EB-5 program to defraud foreign investors. Attorney General TJ Donovan announced Thursday that he'll pay $2 million to settle civil charges filed by the state in 2016.
Vermont Business Magazine

The man who used EB-5 projects in the Northeast Kingdom to orchestrate one of the biggest financial frauds in state history has settled a civil suit brought by the state of Vermont.

The Tram Haus Lodge at Jay Peak was one project invested in by foreign investors through the EB-5 program. The federal government has terminated the state-run Regional Center that oversees EB-5 projects in Vermont.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The federal government has ordered a shutdown of the state-run Regional Center that oversees EB-5 projects in Vermont, possibly jeopardizing the immigration status of about 200 foreign investors seeking green cards through the program.

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