Harvey Smith tops Ed McGuire in Addison-5 House race

MIDDLEBURY — Rep. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven, won re-election to a sixth term representing Addison-5 in the Vermont House on Tuesday after defeating Democrat challenger Ed McGuire of New Haven, 1,145-959.

Smith, 67, is a lifelong farmer and is in his second stint representing Addison-5, a district that includes the towns of New Haven, Bridport and Weybridge.

Smith defeated McGuire 523-433 in New Haven and by a 390-226 margin in Bridport. McGuire, 69, had a strong showing as a first-time candidate. The retired Mount Abraham Union High School teacher and U.S. Coast Guard officer won the town of Weybridge by a 300-232 margin, but was unable to overcome the edge Smith had recorded in New Haven and Bridport.

“It’s always a pleasure when you win,” Smith said on Wednesday. “It is humbling. You really appreciate all the folks working with you, supporting you and helping you get elected.”

Smith also got some unsolicited assistance from the political action committee “Vermonters First,” which circulated several campaign fliers on his behalf during the weeks preceding the election. Those fliers, in part, touted Smith as supporting the opposite of an alleged Democrat agenda that the flier described as raising statewide property taxes and promoting a government takeover of the health care system.

Smith said he was not aware of the fliers until the day before some of them went out. He was not averse to receiving the added support, though it made him a little uneasy.

“It is always a little nerve-wracking not to know what is being done on the behalf of your campaign,” Smith said.

Smith previously served in the House from 1999 to 2006, becoming a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. He decided to run again in 2010, when then-incumbent Democrat Chris Bray launched a bid for lieutenant governor. Smith currently serves on the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee.

He cited “building a stronger economy” as his top priority for the coming biennium. Smith believes improving the quality of public education and developing affordable energy sources as working hand-in-hand with developing a stronger economy.

“It is a matter of working with the people up there (in Montpelier) to come up with legislation to help us move in that direction,” Smith said of his priorities, which he believes are shared by most other lawmakers.

At the same time, Smith will pay close attention to agricultural issues.

“Farming has always been at the forefront of my mind,” Smith said.

See town-by-town results from this election at our special Addison County election page.

Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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