We need leaders who can build bridges, not fences

‘My track record as an effective legislator and community leader is what really sets me apart from my opponent’

GUILFORD — It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the state representative for the people of Vernon and Guilford over the last four years. I'm running for re-election because I care deeply about the future of our rural communities.

I continue to be very concerned about the growing divide in our country and the potential for deeper divides in our community. I believe in these times, we need leaders in Montpelier who can build bridges, not fences, to find common ground and work together to get things done for Vermonters.

My values have been shaped by growing up in a large working-class family. My father worked the night shift as a security guard, while my mother juggled raising four kids while working as an editor for a small medical journal.

Even with both of my parents working, there were a few years when we relied on food stamps and free lunch tickets to make ends meet. In high school I worked after school and on weekends to pay for my clothes and school supplies.

We had very little, but we never felt poor because my mother was hopeful - she encouraged us to do well in school, to find our passion, and to volunteer in our community.

And through the power of her example, I learned to be an optimist, to look out for others, to think outside the box, and to work hard.

This is the spirit and ethic that I have brought to my work in the Vermont Legislature.

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I am proud of my voting record and the work I have accomplished, all of which reflect the priorities of my constituents.

Over my last two terms serving, I have focused on:

• strengthening our rural economy through innovative approaches to workforce development and buildout of rural broadband

• investing in our youth and families by investing in quality public education

• investing in strategies to combat climate change and build resiliency for our rural communities

• helping working people and small businesses by improving access to affordable housing and child care

• protecting reproductive rights

In this election Windham-1 voters have a clear choice. My opponent, Nancy Gassett, holds radically different views from my own, and I urge the voters of Guilford and Vernon to do their homework.

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I believe Vermonters are looking for leaders who are solution-oriented and have the skills to effectively build consensus and coalitions to get things done. I believe my track record as an effective legislator and community leader is what really sets me apart from my opponent.

There is a lot on the ballot this election, and I hope to earn your vote in this election so I can return to Montpelier and continue to be a strong voice for Guilford and Vernon in the Vermont House of Representatives.

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