Candidate statement: Angela Lawrence, high bailiff

DUMMERSTON — My name is Angela Lawrence of Dummerston, and I am running to be your next High Bailiff in Windham County.

I am a first-generation Vermonter, a first-generation American, and a woman of color. I came to the U.S. 20 years ago from Kenya and grew up in Brockton, Mass. I am a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, came to Brattleboro in 2013, and recently moved with my family to Dummerston. I am married to a local carpenter and have two young boys.

Democracy relies upon checks and balances to prevent the branches of government from becoming too powerful, corrupt, or self serving. No matter what the office, all elected officials need an entity to serve that function.

In the case of an elected sheriff, the only option to serve that purpose is high bailiff. The position exists solely as a check and balance to the position of sheriff. The high bailiff should be a civilian who should also reflect the community that they represent.

The duty of the sheriff is to serve warrants, summons, and writs. The high bailiff serves writs that the sheriff is incapable of serving, such as the writ of arrest of the sheriff, and to temporarily hold the office of the sheriff in the event of the sheriff's incarceration or incapacity.

A law-enforcement background is not necessary, but a practical knowledge of the law is an advantageous qualification for this position.

I am running for high bailiff because I believe that in Windham County there has been a lack of diversity in elected offices that does not reflect our increasing diversity here. There has never been a person of color or a woman to hold this position, and the majority of our county's elected officials are men. By electing me, we could achieve some much-needed diversity.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I am asking for your vote so that we can continue working together to make our communities more reflective of who we are.

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