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Windham County incumbents retain seats in the House

Sibilia, Deen, and Mrowicki win easily

BRATTLEBORO—Three incumbent representatives will keep their seats in two Windham County House districts.

In the Windham-Bennington District, Rep. Laura Sibilia, I-Dover, fended off a challenge from former Rep. John Moran of Wardsboro. With five of the district’s six towns reporting Tuesday night, Sibilia was leading Moran 951 to 729, and she said her opponent had called to concede.

And in the Windham 4 District, incumbent Democratic Reps. David Deen of Westminster and Mike Mrowicki of Putney easily beat Republican challengers Eddie Cutler and Bonnie DePino.

Mrowicki was the top vote-getter in the two-seat district with 2,754, according to totals posted by the Vermont Secretary of State with all three towns reporting. Deen was close behind with 2,709.

Cutler and DePino, both of Westminster, garnered 738 and 657 votes, respectively.

The Windham-Bennington race pitted Sibilia, a regional economic development official serving her first term in the Legislature, against Moran, who previously served four consecutive terms but lost to Sibilia in 2014.

The two-county district covers the towns of Dover, Wardsboro, and Whitingham in Windham County and Readsboro, Searsburg, and Stamford in Bennington County.

Moran ran on a progressive platform, singling out issues such as raising the minimum wage and transitioning to an income tax for education funding. Sibilia focused on issues like economic development and broadband connectivity.

“I’m honored to have earned the district’s confidence and to once again represent the Windham-Bennington district in the Vermont House,” Sibilia said as she celebrated her win. “Thank you to John Moran for a working hard and giving the voters in our district a choice.”

Windham 4, which includes Dummerston, Westminster, and Putney, again demonstrated its long-term loyalty to Deen and Mrowicki.

Deen, chairman of the House Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee, has spent 26 years representing the district. Mrowicki, a member of the House Human Services Committee, is serving his fifth term.

Cutler is a founder and current president of Gun Owners of Vermont; DePino is a board member of the organization. Both Deen and Mrowicki have supported legislation aimed at tightening the state’s gun laws.

But guns weren’t a prominent issue in the race. Cutler and DePino instead campaigned against large-scale wind and solar development; argued for the repeal of Act 46; and railed against higher taxes.

Deen and Mrowicki touted their experience in the Legislature, with Deen saying he wants to continue his stewardship of sweeping new clean water legislation approved in 2015.

Mrowicki cited global warming as a key issue, and both of the incumbents favored a carbon tax as a way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #382 (Wednesday, November 9, 2016). This story appeared on page A4.

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