Editor’s note: By way of disclosure, State Senate candidate Mary Cain, a part-time advertising sales representative for The Commons, is on administrative leave from her duties at the newspaper during the campaign, and we look forward to her return after the election. It has long been the policy of Vermont Independent Media, publisher of The Commons, not to engage in direct political activity at the board of directors level. On Monday, in the spirit of keeping the newspaper nonpartisan in both fact and appearance — a critical condition of our federal tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service — the board voted to extend this policy to staff. We extend our best wishes to all three candidates in that race, including Cain, and look forward to a vigorous, spirited, and intelligent campaign, one that we will strive to cover honestly, fairly, and objectively for all, in the best interest of our readers. And finally, on another topic: News Editor Randolph T. Holhut contributed reporting to this story.
Originally published in The Commons issue #157 (Wednesday, June 20, 2012).
There won’t be a party primary for the Windham-Bennington-Windsor House seat now held by Republican Oliver Olsen of Jamaica, who is not seeking re-election. Two independent candidates, Emmet S. Dunbar of South Londonderry and Charles “Tim” Goodwin of Weston, will be running for the position in November.
In a press release, Goodwin wrote, “As a representative of the people, I think it is important to take the time to listen to the concerns of folks here at home.”
“I will be going house to house this summer,” he wrote. “And look forward to meeting with everyone in our district, so that I can best represent their interests in Montpelier.”
Goodwin added in the press release that Olsen has endorsed his candidacy.
House incumbents running unopposed are Mike Hebert (R) of Vernon in Windham-1, Valerie Stuart (D) in Windham 2-1, Mollie Burke (P/D) in Windham 2-2, David Deen (D) of Westminster and Mike Mrowicki (D) of Putney for the two seats in Windham-4, Richard Marek (D) of Newfane in Windham-5, Ann Manwaring (D) of Wilmington in Windham-6, and John Moran (D) of Wardsboro in the Windham-Bennington district seat.
Moran’s and Manwaring’s districts were slightly tweaked as part of this year’s legislative redistricting.
Manwaring’s new district — Windham-6 — now consists of Halifax, Wilmington, and part of Whitingham. Moran’s Windham-Bennington district gains the part of Whitingham not in Manwaring’s district.
Despite running unopposed, Moran released a statement to introduce himself to his new constituents and ask for continued support from the Windham-Bennington district.
After highlighting the Legislature’s accomplishments from the 2012 session, Moran wrote, “Yet, in the aftermath of Irene and the continuation of the recession, much remains to be done.”
He listed long-term Irene recovery, economic development with livable-wage employment, tax reform, affordable housing, universal health care, and statewide cellular and broadband coverage as challenges to address in the upcoming session.
In the statewide races, incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin will be opposed in November by four candidates: Republican Randy Brock of Swanton, Progressive Martha Abbott of Underhill, Chester resident Cris Ericson of the U.S. Marijuana Party, and independent Emily Peyton of Putney.
Abbott, Ericson, Peyton, and Brock all mounted runs for the governor’s office in 2010.
Incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott will be challenged by Democrat Cassandra Gekas of Montpelier, a former spokeswoman for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), and Progressive Marjorie Power of Montpelier, an attorney and former city councilor who ran against Scott in 2010.
Treasurer Beth Pearce, who was appointed to her position in January 2011 by Shumlin after Jeb Spaulding resigned to become secretary of administration, will be running in her first election for her position against Republican Wendy Wilton, a former state representative and current Rutland City treasurer.
With incumbent Auditor Tom Salmon’s decision not to run for re-election, his position is open. Running for the position is Democrat Doug Hoffer of Burlington, who narrowly lost to Salmon in 2010, and Republican State Sen. Vincent Illuzzi.
Illuzzi described the decision to run for auditor as a “big one” after serving 32 years in the general assembly. But, he added, the Senate has “been a difficult place” in recent years.
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