For moderate House member, support of Balint for Congress is about character, not ideology

DOVER — As an independent member of the Vermont House of Representatives, I have worked closely with three of the candidates for Congress. Today, I am endorsing Becca Balint.

When I've shared this news, some have responded with surprise. They know me to be a moderate and Becca to be openly progressive.

My support for Becca is not about ideology - it's about character and whom I trust to put Vermonters first.

I met Becca almost 10 years ago when we were both working to help southern Vermonters grapple with the realities of shifting demographics, significant job losses, and the effects of climate change. She engrossed herself in listening carefully and intently to the challenges our neighbors and regional leaders described and engaged us all in probing questions as we contemplated a future that looked very different from our past.

In 2014, when she told me she was running for the Vermont Senate, I literally jumped for joy. I knew she would be a force for good, a force to challenge the status quo, and an unending source of optimism about the possibility for the future.

And I was right.

Becca is a deeply committed truth-teller. In the face of partisan divide, she stays focused on bringing people together to solve the very real problems we face. As leader of the State Senate, she has done so with extraordinary success, seeking compromise and delivering real change. She has earned my trust and respect.

I have worked closely with Becca on issues that are important to my district - rural broadband, education financing, and combating climate change. She has approached each issue with openness, seeking to find points of agreement, so that we could deliver meaningful change.

Even when we disagree, I never doubt that Becca is sincere in wanting to do what's best for Vermonters. She has proved herself to be a person of integrity, an accomplished leader who is genuinely committed to her principles and to improving our lives. She cares deeply for Vermont and the families who live here, and she uses her platform to advocate for their needs.

This authenticity endears her to her colleagues in the Senate and the House, and it was a light as we collectively navigated through COVID-19 recovery.

My mantra has always been to focus on people over politics. Today, by endorsing Becca Balint for Congress, I'm putting aside political differences in support of someone who will always put Vermonters first.

That is what we need in Washington.

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