Richard Lenchus

Independent, from BensonMy main issue is health care for school children. I am also concerned about veterans, seniors and the disabled fighting big pharma for lower prices. Other issues I will address: police, jobs, and growing Vermont into the beautiful, historic state everyone sees when they hear “Moonlight in Vermont.” What makes me different is as a senior citizen I have been a U.S. Marine Corps jet plane captain Vietnam era. I am a grandmaster and recognized founding father of American Martial Arts. I am an architect, building schools for eight years, and was a caregiver for a disabled senior 19 years. I am also a decorated auxiliary cop.

Terry Norris

Independent, Shoreham

Why are you running this year?As I end my fourth year in the House and member of the Agriculture and Forestry Committee, I feel as a former dairy farmer and lifetime Vermonter, I have some insight into what is ahead for Vermont’s agriculture industry. Agriculture needs a voice in the House if it is going to survive in today’s world and economy.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?

The biggest challenge facing Vermonter’s today is economic recovery from the COVID-19 shutdowns and the effect it has had on our economy. We are just starting to feel the effects on the State Budget and when the federal money stops coming in, we will be on our own. Vermonter’s don’t need additional taxes during this recovery period.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19?We will need to proceed with caution as we move forward as recovery will take some time. Bringing the tourists back will increase revenues, our restaurants and lodging industry has seen an unprecedented downturn, the effect on agriculture from this and from the change in our school routine has put dairy and vegetable farmers in financial struggles. Programs may need to be cut to avoid higher taxes.

What are your top priorities?Getting the economy back on track and avoiding a higher cost of living for our citizens.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?My two sessions in the House has given me an idea how things work on the state level. I am a conservative Independent and I am there to serve the people of my four towns and not a party.

Also running:

Ruth Shattuck

Bernstein

Democrat, from Shoreham

Linda Joy Sullivan

Democrat Republican, from Benson, is running unopposed

Sally Achey

Republican, from Middletown Springs

Robin Chestnut-

Tangerman

Progressive/Democrat, from Middletown Springs

Tyler Joseph Ballard

Independent, from Poultney

Patricia McCoy

Republican, from Poultney

Ken Fredette

Democrat, from WallingfordWhy are you running this year?I believe I can make a difference, be a positive influence on getting good work done in Montpelier on behalf of all Vermonters. Many people agree, and have encouraged me to throw my hat into the ring again.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?Climate change, without question. Of course, that is the challenge for the entire human race, not just Vermonters.

Obviously, we face many extraordinarily pressing issues these days: The worldwide pandemic and the resulting upheaval to everyone’s way of life and global economies, and systemic racism and the resulting turmoil, to name two of the biggest. But there will be a vaccine one day soon (and hopefully we have learned from the gross mistakes made this time how to better contain the next novel virus); people have already learned new ways to conduct business that will carry forward; and I hope that diversity will come to be seen as not only good but also a necessary part of our lives for all of us to thrive (a long row to hoe, to be sure). None of our efforts to deal with these and other issues will matter if Earth can no longer support human life. Global warming is a clear and present danger, and we must take decisive actions immediately.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects COVID-19?We must continue to be vigilant in containing the virus; we have witnessed in dramatic fashion the results of complacency or recklessness in other parts of the country. We can thank strong Vermont leadership and an understanding citizenry for being in as good a position as we are.

Support for child care, which was recognized as being vital since the beginning of all of this, may well be the single most important action to continue and to expand upon to allow parents and guardians to get back to work. It is also needed to allow for educating our children through the various schooling models being implemented across the state while waiting for a vaccine. As I have often said, take care of the children and everything else will fall into place.

We should look for any resources yet untapped to add to those already provided to help our hospitality industry and other tourism-related services survive and recover, especially with foliage season and colder weather impending.

What are your top priorities?Top priorities when we get back to a sense of normalcy? Education has long been at the top of my list, and I expect it always will be. I would hold Vermont’s education system up against pretty much any in the world, although I think we could borrow a couple of concepts from Finland. We should never lose sight of the fact that we need to foster happy, productive members of society. Today’s kids will be running the show before we know it. I agree the time has come to rework the tax structure that supports our schools; I am knowledgeable about how Ed funding works now, and feel I can bring productive perspectives to the table.

Maintaining and improving air and water quality, and ensuring equitable access to decent, affordable housing, health care and, as stated above, child care are all must-haves. Means to those ends can create decent, green jobs. We must also always support our farmers, promote Vermont products and tourism, and protect our most vulnerable Vermonters, the elderly.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?My family and I live off-grid, for one thing. I spent 20 years serving on school boards, many as chair on the local and regional boards and a stint as president of the Vermont School Boards Association; I understand very well how to work with groups who have very diverse opinions, to make sure every voice is heard, and how to build consensus.

Arthur Peterson

Republican, ClarendonWhy are you running this year?The Global Warming Solutions Act, H.688, has prompted me to run. The climate mandates included in this bill will kill the Vermont economy. I intend to vote against unreasonable climate bills because I believe they are outside the jurisdiction of state government.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?Our biggest challenge is retaining our freedoms in how we work, play, worship, shop, travel, and live our lives from an ever encroaching state government.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19?It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback our leaders but these are things that I think would help. Totally re-open the economy. Let employers take care of safety measures. Suspend for two years regulations that hamper the re-opening of existing businesses and the opening of new ones. Cut the state budget 8 to 10%.

What are my top priorities?Protect the freedoms of the people in my district by opposing needless mandates, restrictive laws, dangerous policies, and bloated budgets. I want to work to contain the size, scope, and cost of state government. I will also work with state representative Brian Smith to pass his legislation that restricts flags at public schools to only the US flag and the state flag. I will always vote pro-life.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?I’m a strong, dependable, proven leader. I am campaigning door to door in the district. I stand by my core principles. I’m not afraid to voice my opinion on tough issues.

Dave Potter

Democrat, ClarendonWhy are you running this year?Am running to make sure we get through this COVID-19 pandemic as safely and quickly as possible.

To support Vermont families with good jobs and economic opportunity, accessible and cost-effective health care, quality education, and a solid environmental future for our children and grandchildren.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?The current biggest challenge facing Vermonters is the COVID-19 pandemic. Family home life, work environment, and traditional school operations have all been turned upside down. VT state government has responded by appropriating over one billion dollars in various ways to support the unemployed, homeless, health care, educational and business needs brought on by the pandemic.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19?Recovery efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic should be targeted to make sure the recovery doesn’t stall. Shoot for statewide high vaccination rates to ensure immunity so that the workforce and school population remains healthy. Continue stimulating the economy to enhance job opportunity and ensure prosperity continues. Make sure public and vocational schools, higher education, and workforce development programs return to normal to feed the economic recovery.

What are my top priorities?Top legislative priorities include: Get through the COVID-19 pandemic safely with minimum damage. Financially, find cost savings and alternative methods to fund quality health care and pre-K through grade 12 public education. Job creation, business recruitment, and workforce development are always priorities. Finish the Route #7 corridor highway improvements between Pittsford and Brandon. Futuristically, assess the impact of global warming and climate change on Vermont and the planet as a whole. Determine a path forward that preserves a quality planet for our children and grandchildren.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?A broad list of life and leadership experiences distinguish myself from other candidates. Community Service includes: 16 years in the Vermont House of Representatives; Clarendon Selectman and Town Moderator; University of Vermont Board of Trustees: VT Workforce Development Board; Retired Rutland High School Teacher (31 years); West Rutland Rotary; VT Tree Farmer of the Year 2008.

Military Service: 4 ½ years Active Duty USAF; Vietnam Veteran; 30 years in VT Air National Guard.

Also running:

Tom Burditt Republican, West Rutland

William Canfield

Republican, Fair Haven

Robert Helm

Republican, Fair Haven

Robert Richards

Democrat, Fair Haven

Thomas Terenzini

Republican, Rutland TownWhy are you running this year?After much soul-searching I decided to run again primarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the shutdown of the state, Vermont and Vermonters have and will continue to face tough times in the months and years ahead. I feel with my eight years’ experience in the House, now is not the time to have a new inexperienced person representing the people of Rutland Town in the legislature.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?Facing and dealing with a state budget gap of hundreds of millions of dollars, dealing and rebuilding a fractured economy and to control state spending very carefully in the future.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects COVID-19?The Legislature must control state spending as much as possible, relaxation of state rules and regulations that businesses face in their efforts to expand or to locate new facilities in Vermont that would ultimately create jobs, and work to stabilize our tax rates.

What are your top priorities?Primarily to concentrate on the economy and rebuilding business for the state as well as to control state spending

What distinguishes you from other candidates?My experience in serving in the legislature for the past eight years as well as working in state government in my career in the Department of Corrections. I have always supported local businesses that I see as critical to overall economy of the region.

Also running:

Barbara Noyes Pulling

Democrat, Rutland Town

Peter Fagan

Republican, Rutland City, running unopposedDuring my 30 years in the military, I never walked away from a problem and worked collaboratively to resolve the issue. The dynamics of running our state government are being severely stressed by the complications of COVID-19. Ethically I cannot leave this situation for others to resolve when I believe my 12 years of experience are needed. I will continue working to position Vermont and especially Rutland, our neighbors and our businesses, to flourish when we get through this difficult time.

Rutland is my home, my family’s home and your home. You love Rutland and I love Rutland, too. Together we will get through this and move forward in our lives.

Larry Cupoli

Republican, Rutland City, running unopposedWhy are you running this year?I am committed to serving my community in Rutland District 5-2 and the City of Rutland as a whole. As vice chair of the House Education Committee, my attention is focused on improving Education for our students and other aspects of education including After School Programs. The COVID-19 Pandemic has created many issues for our community and related business activities. I plan to address these many issues during the 2021-2022 Session.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing Vermont’s is the declining population and the ability to sustain programs and in particular, funding education through property taxes. I hear more often that property taxes are just too high and becoming a burden on the middle income payers. As our tax rates continue to go up each year especially on non-residential properties, we find the effect of small business slowly disappearing. We need to address the permitting process as well. We have very little growth in Rutland County and the City as can be seen by the closing of the Diamond Run Mall and many empty stores in our city.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects COVID-19?Steps that need to be taken to recover our economy have been addressed in some way by the COVID relief funds from the government. Vermont received a very fair sum of funds that have been distributed to many sectors of our economy to ensure that business remains solvent. My greatest concern will be what happens in the 2021-2022 fiscal year as a result of the pandemic. I believe that it will be very difficult to raise funding for the State budget without raising taxes on all Vermonters.

What are your top priorities?My top priorities will be to investigate a way to change how we fund the education of our declining student population. As we know, the fewer students the higher the cost. I will also try to address economic growth in Rutland County and what can be accomplished by smart investments in growth.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?I am not sure how to answer that question as most candidates do have something to bring to the conversation and I wish them well in their campaigns. What I do know is that I work hard to make sure my constituents know that I am always available to serve in the best way possible.

Mary Howard

Democrat, Rutland CityWhy are you running this year?I am running to continue our progress toward building an economy that works for all of my constituents. I am running to fight for Rutland as I did when I finally got the State to repave the River Street Bridge. I am running to pass a comprehensive Paid Family Leave program so workers will not have to choose between the jobs they need and the family they love.

What is the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?We need to make Vermont more affordable. It is too expensive to live in Vermont for middle class families. We need to cut taxes for the middle class as I have proposed in each term I have served, we need universal publicly funded early childhood education to cut the cost of child care out of family budgets and we need to eliminate tuition at the Vermont State Colleges.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19?I would point to the answer I just gave to the biggest challenge Vermonters face. I would add we need to raise minimum wages to livable wages. One job is enough.

What are your top priorities?

My priorities are middle class working families, support for our veterans, and support for women.

What distinguishes you from the other candidate?

Experience in the State House. I am an experienced state legislator and I have 73 years of life experience that prepares me to make good decisions about the issues we face. I have worked in the Criminal Justice System and in the private sector. I am a mother, a former caregiver and a woman, my experience in life is different than his, not better or worse, just different.

Also running:

John Cioffi Jr.

Republican, Rutland City

William Notte

Democrat, Rutland CityWhy are you running this year?I am running this year to continue my work fighting for Rutland City at the State House. It was clear to me two years ago that many of the challenges we face locally need to be addressed at the state level for our community to move forward. This was why — with the voters’ approval — I transitioned from serving as a city alderman to serving as a state rep. I feel I have had a strong first term, but there is still much work to be done.

What is the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?The biggest challenge facing most Vermonters is earning enough to be able to provide for their families. We are a heavily taxed state with limited employment options. This is why I voted against Act 250 revisions that would have made it even harder to start or expand a business in this area. It is also why I voted against the Global Warming Solutions Act. I believe global warming is real and needs to be addressed, but not by an unelected committee whose decisions could have devastating financial consequences for low and middle income Vermonters.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19?

We need to diligently work to ensure COVID continues to be contained. Another full shutdown would be devastating and the final straw for many struggling businesses. We should be doing everything we can to encourage Vermonters to help their fellow Vermonters by shopping locally with such incentives as sales tax free weekends.

What are your top priorities?We need to ease the financial burden on Vermont families and grow the number of well paying jobs. We also need to make our state more welcoming to people of color. Vermont is low in population, if we really want a booming economy we need to grow the number of working age Vermonters. This task will prove especially challenging if our state appears unwelcoming to many potential Vermonters.

What distinguishes you from the other candidate?Before serving my first term as a state representative, I served eleven years as a Rutland City alderman. During this time I served as board president and chairman of the Public Works, Charter & Ordinance, and Public Safety Committees. I deeply understand the challenges Rutland City faces. This makes me a strong advocate at the State House for our community, which has not always gotten our fair share in the past.

Also running:

Sherri Prouty

Republican, Rutland City

Stephanie Zak Jerome

Democrat, from Brandon

Why are you running this year?

It has been an incredible honor to serve the rural communities of Brandon, Pittsford and Sudbury in the General Assembly. I am running for re-election so that I can continue to work to help our communities and families thrive. I want a rural Vermont that works for all of us. I believe that every Vermonter should have the opportunity to earn a livable wage, receive high-quality affordable health care, get a great education, and retire with security. Every Vermonter should get a fair shot, contribute their fair share, and play by the same set of rules. I am running for re-elections so that we can build stronger, healthier communities. Over the past two years, I have served as a voice for rural Vermont in Montpelier. My work has been challenging, consuming and rewarding. Through my experiences in business and in the legislature, I believe that we need to work on issues under the broad umbrella of Economic Development. Success in these areas will make Brandon, Pittsford and Sudbury even better towns to live, work, and raise our families.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?

Clearly the biggest challenge for Vermonters is to get through the COVID-19 crisis with our jobs and communities intact and our families healthy. We should be working on the following issues:

— Improved broadband for local business, workers, and education

— Quality education in every school - drawing families to our communities for our excellent schools

— Accessible and affordable health care - including mental health and addiction treatments

— Plentiful, quality, affordable child care - which working families so desperately need

— Investment in a clean healthy environment - protecting our water, rivers, lakes and soils

— Instituting a realistic livable wage and paid family leave insurance

— Creating welcoming inclusive communities for all people

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects COVID-19?

The pandemic has caused people to lose their livelihoods and put their businesses at risk. I have worked tirelessly to assist our neighbors to receive unemployment benefits, and businesses to receive Emergency Economic Recovery grants so they can survive during this difficult time. I will continue this work with the Department of Labor and Agency for Commerce and Community Development, and other state agencies to help our constituents through this difficult time.

In the Appropriations bill there will be opportunities for Vermonters to take free courses at CCV and the State Colleges to gain professional certifications, improved job skills, and financial education. This education could help many to come out of the pandemic with better job opportunities for the future.

Through the CARES Act funding there is an opportunity to invest and improve our Pre-K-12 education system, childcare system, health care, environment, and broadband. It is important that we act now to come out stronger once the pandemic and state of emergency has ended.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

I have a broad set of experiences that make me uniquely qualified to represent Brandon, Pittsford and Sudbury. I have proudly served two years as a state rep - learning the intricacies and realities of public policy, helping constituents with local and state governmental issues, communicating legislation and grants. In the legislature I serve on the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, the Rural Economic Development Working Group and the Tourism Caucus, as well as the Women’s Caucus and the Climate Solutions Caucus , so that I can work on concentrating on helping Brandon, Pittsford and Sudbury. I have a proven record as a successful legislative leader with experience in problem solving, negotiations and compromise. I bring 30 years of experience as a local business owner, as a public servant at NASA, and as a volunteer in town government, the arts, health care, and education. I am a sixth generation Vermonter - raised in Vermont, educated locally, with a BA from the University of Vermont and master’s in public policy and administration from UMASS Amherst. I bring this background and experience to Montpelier, helping me to serve my towns.

Charles “Butch” Shaw

Republican/Democrat, from Pittsford

Why are you running this year, and what are the biggest challenges for Vermonters?

The 2020 election is about the future of Vermont and it’s financial and social recovery after the COVID-19 crisis has passed. The numerous and involved issues facing Vermonters calls for experienced leadership that understands the intricacies of state government and the needs of our constituents and all the people of Vermont. With eleven years of legislative experience and 35 years as a successful small business owner I continue to believe that I am that person to represent the citizens of the Brandon, Pittsford and Sudbury district.

What are your priorities?

Vermont is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise our families. We support our communities and honor our traditions, but we must continue to grow the economy to make it more affordable to live here. We also must protect the most vulnerable of our neighbors and educate our children. As legislators we must be innovative as we build a State budget that does not grow faster than Vermonter’s ability to pay, does not raise taxes and yet allows the State to make critical investments for the benefit of us all. Cost shifting from our State budget to our local municipal and school budgets is unacceptable. I am fully aware of this and will work diligently using my extensive legislative experience to find comprehensive, common sense solutions to the complex budgeting and social issues facing the Vermont Legislature and the citizens of the state.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

My extensive legislative experience and my ability to work across party lines to “get things accomplished” has proven to be a successful formula for me in Montpelier. The Speaker of the House has expressed confidence in my abilities as a Legislator by appointing me as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Corrections and Institutions and to the influential Joint Justice Oversight Committee. I feel these attributes and my concern for my constituents distinguishes me from other candidates for election in the Rutland-6 district to the House of Representatives.

Also running:

David Soulia

Republican, from Pittsford

Jim Harrison

Republican/Democrat, from Chittenden

Why are you running this year?

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed so much of our daily lives in such a short period of time. The challenges we face as a state will be enormous in the coming year, if not longer. This is not the time to walk away, but rather step up to the challenge, which is why I am candidate for a new term as state representative. We must use this time to push Vermont, not only to survive, but thrive!

What’s the biggest challenge facing Vermonters?

Getting Vermont’s economy back on track. The extended shutdown, necessitated by the pandemic, has decimated so many parts of our economy, especially the hospitality sector.

What steps need to be taken as Vermont’s economy recovers from the effects COVID-19?

We need to support efforts to get businesses back on track and create environments that will assist in their growth going forward to get us to better days. We must also learn from the pandemic to help us be better prepared the next time there is a state of emergency. For example, the computer system for the State’s unemployment insurance system was woefully inadequate to handle the thousands of new claims when the pandemic began. And it pointed out the need for better broadband buildout throughout Vermont.

What are your top priorities?

We need to continue our efforts to get to the other side of this pandemic in a healthy and safe manner. Concurrent with that and beyond, we need to focus our efforts on getting Vermont’s economy back on track and creating job opportunities for all residents. If there is a silver lining of the pandemic, it is that Vermont has shown to the rest of the country that it is an attractive and safe place to live. We should market our safest in the nation schools, extensive outdoor recreation, beautiful scenery and small community feel.

What distinguishes you from other candidates?

If re-elected, I cannot promise I will make all the right decisions from everyone’s point of view. I can only say, I will do my best to represent the district as a whole and not shy away from the choices we will need to make as a state. In addition to valuable experience working with small businesses, I bring a non-partisan discipline perspective to issues.

Also running:

Logan Nicoll

Democrat, from Ludlow

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