Community Forum: GOP's new vision finds support
This week’s writer is David Sunderland, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party.
Twelve months ago the Vermont Republican Party established a new, more positive vision for itself and Vermont. We listened, heard Vermonters’ concerns and crafted solutions and proposals that address the issues that matter most to them. This will continue to be our approach as we work to move Vermont forward.
Vermonters want leadership focused on reviving our stagnant economy and removing obstacles to job creation. They want leaders to address the affordability crisis Vermonters face everyday and get to work lowering the tax burden currently shouldered by working Vermonters — including the oppressive property tax burden. They want balance in Montpelier and reasoned, respectful and commonsense debates about the very real challenges our families are facing. And, Vermonters want a healthcare system that provides great quality and universal access at a price Vermonters can afford — while preserving the right to make their own healthcare decisions and choose their own doctors.
On Nov. 4, Vermonters showed their strong support for candidates who addressed these priorities — and their opposition to those, including Gov. Shumlin, who did not. By their votes, they also voiced their support for the Vermont Republican Party’s new direction, new tone and new priorities for all Vermonters. For this endorsement we are deeply humbled and grateful — and we understand there is still much more work to do.
Vermont Republicans were rewarded with eight additional seats in our state House of Representatives and two additional seats in our state Senate. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott was also overwhelmingly re-elected with over 62 percent of the vote. Our gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne surprised the press and political insiders with his campaign to replace a much better funded two-term incumbent Peter Shumlin. That race will ultimately be decided by the Legislature in January.
With a large majority of Vermonters expressing a desire for a new governor, it is clear there is no mandate for further mismanagement of state government or the policies that have put Vermonters in financial jeopardy and more of our jobs in peril. Likewise, there is no mandate for the poorly defined government-run, taxpayer-funded health care plans he had, but didn’t share, for Vermont.
Vermonters have let their voices be heard and their message is clear: it’s time for Democrats in Montpelier to reach across the aisle, partner with Republicans and develop plans for economic growth, job creation, property tax relief and health care reforms that are affordable and effective.
Vermont Republicans look forward to working with Democrats and Independents in the Legislature to offer the working families of Vermont, our senior citizens and our young people a new and powerful voice in shaping our state’s economic future.
With this spirit of cooperation, and commitment to common sense, we can achieve the goals Vermonters have established — a more affordable state, more balanced leadership and an economy that creates jobs and increases wages for all Vermonters.
On Election Day, Vermonters signaled their desire for change. Looking ahead, you can count on Vermont Republicans to work diligently to ensure that this change results in progress.