Updated at 1:05 p.m.
WINOOSKI — Charity Clark, who served as chief of staff of the Vermont attorney general’s office, is running to be the state’s top prosecutor.
Clark, a Democrat, announced her candidacy Monday morning during a kickoff event in downtown Winooski. She spoke from a podium on the sidewalk in front of the Champlain Mill with a group of supporters beyond her holding “Clark For Attorney General” signs.
“I have seen firsthand what our communities are facing, and I know how to utilize, leverage the Office of Attorney General for the best result,” Clark said. “I will be ready on day one to fight to protect Vermonters and the state we love.”
Clark has served as an assistant attorney general for the past seven years, including the past four years as chief of staff.
“As attorney general, I will bring, for the first time, a woman’s perspective to issues like violence against women,” Clark said. “No attorney general in Vermont’s history has known what it’s like to walk to your car in a dark parking lot, holding your keys in that special way all women know.”
Clark is seeking the post currently held by Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan, who recently announced he would not be seeking reelection.
Since Donovan’s announcement, Clark has said she was “seriously considering” running for the post. She resigned from her chief of staff position last week.
On Monday, she joined a race with one other announced candidate, Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault, also a Democrat, setting off a primary contest.
Clark said she has a different background and experiences than Thibault. She talked of her years in the attorney general’s office holding top posts.
“I have been part of the conversation with a seat at the table this whole time,” Clark said. “I am very experienced, and I believe I have the experience that Vermont needs.”
Among her duties in the attorney general’s office has been to supervise the consumer assistance program dealing with issues such as scams, identity theft and deception in the marketplace.
“That’s something I’m really passionate about,” Clark said of the consumer protection law. “All of us in Vermont are consumers, so it really does affect all of us.”
Clark said she also would push criminal justice reforms, such as expanding offenses eligible for expungement to remove roadblocks from people obtaining loans, housing and jobs.
Clark, who grew up in southern Vermont, is a graduate of the University of Vermont and Boston College Law School.
Before attending law school, she served as a policy analyst under former Gov. Howard Dean.
In making her announcement Monday, Clark talked of her deep roots in Vermont and working in a small business.
“As a daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of small-town Vermont grocers,” Clark said, “I have seen firsthand the struggles of families trying to make ends meet, of overwhelmed moms, of older folks, (who) sometimes might need a little help.”
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