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Roger Allbee seeks Senate seat

Watch future issues of The Commons for profiles of all Windham County candidates for state office.

BRATTLEBORO—As Main Street bustles with activity during Gallery Walk, former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee holds a clipboard and asks a Rockingham resident if he’d like to sign his petition for state senator.

The potential constituent from Rockingham happily agrees, then prints and signs his name on Allbee’s growing list.

A Democrat, Allbee is the third newcomer to declare his candidacy for one of two Senate seats for Windham County. Brattleboro’s Rebecca Balint and Putney’s Joan Bowman are also running in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary.

Of the two Democratic incumbents, Peter Galbraith of Townshend announced he will not run again, while senior senator Jeanette White of Putney had not formally declared her candidacy by press time Tuesday night. (VTDigger.org reported that White filed her paperwork for re-election with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday.)

Allbee is the chief executive officer and administrator of the state’s smallest hospital, Grace Cottage Hospital/Carlos G. Otis Health Care Center in Townshend. He also works for the developer of ViewBoost, a rural tourism application for mobile devices, which connects tourists to places, events, and businesses in real time and is using Vermont as a model.

“I have decided to be a candidate for the Vermont State Senate because I am passionate about Vermont and believe that my life experiences will benefit not only the residents of Windham County but also Vermont, as we tackle the important issues affecting our quality of life,” Allbee said in a press statement.

“The upcoming legislative session may be the most consequential since the one that passed Act 250 in 1970,” Allbee continued, “I am committed to an issues-oriented campaign around sustainable funding for health care reform, education, property tax relief, environmental issues including protecting our forests, job creation for our young people, and increasing our high-tech competitiveness.”

Allbee and his wife, Ann, are raising three children: Kathleen, Douglas, and Karen.

Raised in Brookline, Allbee focused his education on agriculture. He received his bachelor of science in agricultural economics from the University of Vermont, and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Massachusetts. He has completed the Cornell University Agricultural Executives Program and the Harvard Business School Agribusiness Seminars.

Over his career, Allbee said, he has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Alumni Award, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences from the University of Vermont, and the Honor Award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society of America. He also was a U.S. Army captain.

He made it to the final round of consideration for “Vermonter of the Year” as named by the Burlington Free Press.

“I have always found a way to bring people with differing viewpoints together to get a mix of ideas and approaches to work through issues,” Allbee said in a statement. “It leads to much better solutions.”

He continued, “With my background, depth of experience, energy, time, and most of all encouragement of my friends and family, I strongly believe that my time in the legislature will be beneficial to my constituents and fellow Vermonters.”

Galbraith said Tuesday that he strongly supports Allbee’s candidacy.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #258 (Wednesday, June 11, 2014). This story appeared on page A8.

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