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Ayer, Bray eye leadership post

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Posted on April 7, 2016 |
By Mark Johnson



MONTPELIER — A second state senator plans to run for the top leadership post next year.

Sen. Christopher Bray, D-New Haven, said Tuesday he would seek the position of Senate president pro tempore for the next legislative session. The current Senate president, John Campbell, has said he will not run for re-election to the Senate this fall.

Bray joins Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, in saying they will definitely run for the post. Sens. Claire Ayer, D-Addison, and Ann Cummings, D-Washington, have said they are interested in running. Cummings unsuccessfully challenged Campbell for the Senate president job four years ago. The Windsor County Democrat was elected Senate president in 2010.

Bray, chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, said his goal would be to “have a well-organized Senate that’s healthy, productive, respectful and works well together.”

He is in his second term in the Senate and served two terms in the House. He said he feels he has the experience.

Bray said if his peers elect him, he will institute training sessions for senators on topics including how to be a committee chair, basic law principles and how the rules based on laws are made after they are passed.

He said his style would be collaborative, not top-down.

“I’m much more drawn to creating a space where people’s best work is honored, supported, and they step up and get things done,” Bray said. “I’m much less drawn to models where there’s some big leader, pulling everyone along. It seems like that model does not make the most of everyone who participates.”

Campbell is taking over as executive director of the Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs after the Legislature adjourns this year. He plans to keep his Senate seat until the end of his term in January.

Campbell will make $104,000 annually in his new position.

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