GOP taps Castimore, VanWyck for the late Rep. Clark’s House seat

VERGENNES — Republican leaders in the Addison-3 House district on Thursday agreed to recommend two GOP nominees as candidates to serve out the two-year term of the late Rep. Greg Clark, R-Vergennes: Warren VanWyck of Ferrisburgh and Mary Ann Castimore of Waltham.

Longtime Republican activist Connie Houston, who served as a state representative from Ferrisburgh last decade, said VanWyck and Castimore received overwhelming support from a large GOP caucus that gathered at the Bixby Memorial Library in Vergennes. The Republicans met to select candidates to be interviewed by Gov. Peter Shumlin, who will make the appointment.

The winning nominee will join Rep. Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, in representing the two-seat district that includes Ferrisburgh, Vergennes, Addison, Waltham and Panton.

The new appointee will serve the next two years in place of Clark, the veteran lawmaker and educator who died tragically in a traffic accident on Route 7 this past November.

VanWyck, according to Houston, has been active in Republican causes. He works as a senior project analyst with the University of Vermont.

Castimore operates an organic vegetable farm in Waltham, according to Houston. She is an active supporter of the Vergennes Area Food Shelf and is a longtime promoter/participant in the annual Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival that raises money in the fight against breast cancer.

Neither nominee has a substantial background in state or local politics, according to Houston.

Former Rep. Thelma “Kitty” Oxholm, R-Vergennes, considered throwing her hat into the ring, but ultimately elected not to do so because of her already busy civic schedule, which includes the presidency of the local Lions Club, Houston noted.

Plans call for Addison County Republican Committee Chairman Bryan Young to write letters on behalf of the two nominees, who will soon interview with Shumlin. The governor is expected to act quickly on an appointment, given the 2013 legislative session is already under way.

Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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