Congressional representation matters to Vermont

TOWNSHEND — As a student of Vermont history and especially that pertaining to agriculture, land use, and the environment, I know of the importance of sending a person to Congress who understands Vermont.

Next year, it will be the first time in my lifetime that Vermont, with the retirement of Sen. Patrick Leahy, will not have anyone in a senior position on the agriculture committees of the U.S. Congress during consideration of the next five-year farm bill.

These farm bills are critical for a state like Vermont, as demonstrated by Sen. Leahy, the late Sen. George Aiken, and the late Jim Jeffords, who served in both the House and Senate.

This legislation not only addresses farm policies but also nutrition, land use, and environmental issues. Vermont has benefited immensely over many years from the work of these seasoned elected officials.

I was drawn to an editorial in the St. Albans Messenger on May 31. In “A 'Corporatist Democrat'?” Emerson Lynn, the newspaper's editor emeritus, argues that instead of calling names during the election, it is time for a discussion of those policies that will lead us forward, both as a state and a nation.

In that vein, my support goes to the candidacy of Molly Gray for the congressional seat now occupied by Rep. Peter Welch.

She is forward looking in her policy positions. These include policies on agriculture, land use, nutrition, and the environment that I am familiar with, having served as a former staff member on the House Agriculture Committee for Rep. Jim Jeffords and as a former Vermont secretary of agriculture.

Molly also grew up on a farm owned and operated by her parents. She knows from experience the issues so important to our state and its character. She has worked in Washington on the staff of Rep. Welch and can hit the ground running quickly when elected.

More importantly, she has not engaged in a negative campaign of name calling, as characterized in the piece by Emerson Lynn.

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