In the presidential race we prefer progress over promises. We support the re-election of President Barack Obama. Governor Mitt Romney lacks consistent positions on too many issues, plus he frequently avoids specifics when promising how he will solve America’s problems.
Vermont’s junior Senator, Bernie Sanders, clearly deserves another six years. Outspoken at times but always sticking by what he believes, regardless of the political cost, he’s not at all timid about taking on the Washington establishment when it comes to the needs of Vermonters and citizens everywhere.
Likewise Congressman Peter Welch has earned the right to be reelected. Few in the House of Representatives have worked as hard or effectively with members on both sides of the aisle to help craft legislation, which is fair and reasonable for more than just his own constituents.
Here at home it’s a mix of Republicans and Democrats who we feel should lead Vermont for the next two years, although we still stick by our ongoing belief that Vermont should have four-year terms for its constitutional officers, not two.
We feel Democrat Peter Shumlin should be returned to the Governor’s office and Republican Phil Scott re-elected Lieutenant Governor. In his first two years Shumlin guided the state through its worst natural disaster in nearly 100 years, getting roads repaired quickly and below cost. That was one reason Rolling Stone Magazine named him one of the 12 leaders “who get things done,” and we agree. We appreciate Phil Scott’s “Buy Local First” campaign efforts and believe he is more than capable of governing if the situation should arise.
In his first term, Democrat Jim Condos has brought innovation and new energy to the position of Secretary of State and should be returned to that office. Republican Vince Illuzzi wants to move up from being a longtime country senator to the office of Auditor of Accounts and we have confidence he will do a good job in that position. Democrat Bill Sorrell has considerable experience as Vermont’s Attorney General and that advantage should not be lost on a new face in Montpelier.
Our only change from endorsing all incumbents in statewide races is that we believe Republican Wendy Wilton should replace Democrat Beth Pearce who currently is State Treasurer. Pearce was appointed to the position in 2011 and has never before run for public office. Wilton is a former State Senator, banker and business advisor to small businesses and currently is Treasurer for the city of Rutland. In 2012 she was voted Treasurer of the Year by the Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurer’s Association.
It wouldn’t be prudent to suggest replacing any of Windsor County’s three Democrat State Senators, John Campbell, Dick McCormack or Alice Nitka. Each has served the county well for several terms and hold important committee positions and Campbell is nearly assured of keeping his powerful position as Senate President Pro Tem when the legislature convenes in January. On the Republican side, only Dick Tracy caught our attention at all. Tracy has stridently claimed to offer an alternative to the status quo, plus his passion for many traditional Vermont values is commendable, but it’s not sufficient to suggest unseating any of the three incumbents.
Incumbent Democrats Donna Sweaney and John Bartholomew are our pick for State Representatives in Windsor 1 (Hartland, Windsor/West Windsor). Sweaney is running for her ninth term and Bartholomew his second. Both are conscientious and skilled at researching important issues.
It is an easy call to suggest Republican Jim Eckhardt be returned to Montpelier representing Killington, Bridgewater and Chittenden. He’s a proven hard worker, strong on constituent service and rapidly gaining influence among both major parties in the legislature.
Although they are running unopposed in their respective districts and thus assured of re-election, Democrats Alison Clarkson (Windsor 5, Plymouth, Reading and Woodstock) and Teo Zagar (Windsor 4-1 including Barnard, Pomfret and Quechee) would undoubtedly earn our recommendation anyway. Clarkson is one of Vermont’s most energetic and committed State Reps and Zagar, named to fill out the term of the late Mark Mitchell in 2011, is proving himself to be a very effective Representative for the people in his district.
So, that’s how we’ll be voting on Nov. 6. Regardless if you agree with our choices or not, it’s important that you make the effort to vote.