Peter served several years in the military as a pilot and then worked with the General Electric Corporation in Burlington Vermont, the University of Vermont's Division of Continuing Education and with the Vermont Department of Education in Montpelier Vermont.

He has served Burlington in a number of elected positions, first as a member of the Burlington School Board, then as a Burlington City Councilor, as Mayor of Burlington, and then as a Vermont State Senator representing Chittenden County.

He is married to Linda Blanken Brownell.