Archive - Nov 6, 2008
By JOHN FLOWERS
VERGENNES — The second time proved to be the charm for Vergennes Democrat Diane Lanpher, who pulled off an upset of sorts by winning one of two House seats in the traditional GOP stronghold of Addison-3, toppling one-term incumbent and former Vergennes mayor Kitty Oxholm in the process.
Lanpher, a Vergennes City Council member, received 1,928 tallies in heavy voting in the House district that includes Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes and Waltham. She finished second in the balloting to three-term incumbent Greg Clark, R-Vergennes, who topped the field with a total of 2,220 votes.
Oxholm, finishing her first term, was third with 1,858 votes — 70 behind Lanpher. Rounding out the field was first-time candidate Jean Richardson, a Ferrisburgh Democrat, who garnered 1,558 votes.
Lanpher credited her win to a lot of hard work, both by her and supporters who worked on her behalf. She walked door-to-door within the district and said she was gratified by how many people knew her. Some of the people with whom she spoke in her travels even thought she was an incumbent representative.
“I took that as a positive,” Lanpher said, adding her recent election to the Vergennes City Council and voters’ interest in Barack Obama at the top of the Democratic ticket probably also helped her House bid.
Lanpher had finished fourth, with 1,217 tallies, in a five-way race for the two Addison-3 seats in 2006. She said she is pleased to have prevailed this year.
“I’m very, very excited,” Lanpher said on Tuesday night. “I feel I’m in a position to get things done.”
By ANDY KIRKALDY
ADDISON COUNTY — Yes, Addison County and Brandon did.
Most local voters joined their peers statewide in backing President-elect Barack Obama as Vermont became the first state that national news networks placed in the Democrat’s column on Tuesday night, just minutes after polls in the state closed at 7 p.m.
In heavy turnout that averaged 78 percent and topped 80 percent in at least a dozen local communities, Addison County and Brandon residents also backed statewide winners, including three candidates for major offices who faced opposition: Republican Gov. Jim Douglas of Middlebury, Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie and Democratic Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, who garnered the most votes in these parts in all contested races (see chart).
In every case, local voters’ support for the statewide and national winners, all of whom prevailed by comfortable margins, exceeded their margins statewide.
As of mid-morning on Wednesday, Obama, a first-term U.S. Senator from Illinois, had claimed 67 percent of the Vermont vote with 87 percent of the overall ballots reported counted.
Assuming that percentage holds, that will be the second-largest margin of victory Obama enjoyed in any state in the nation, trailing only his birth state of Hawaii, where he polled 72 percent. Rhode Island came in third at 63 percent. The heavily African-American District of Columbia backed Obama by an even greater 93 percent.
With 100 percent of the local vote counted, Obama swept to victory in all 24 towns and captured roughly 70 percent of the ballots cast. In four towns, more than 80 percent of voters favored Obama over Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee.
Ripton led the way with 83 percent of voters supporting Obama, and voters in Goshen, Lincoln and Middlebury all backed the winning Democratic ticket at a rate of roughly 81 percent.
By KATHRYN FLAGG
BRISTOL — Autumn Harp Inc., the largest private employer in Bristol, announced Wednesday that the company is folding its Bristol operations into its Essex facility.
The 30-year-old manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products employs 160 full-time employees at its Bristol facility and 40 in Essex. All of the company’s Bristol-based employees will be offered the chance to work in Essex, and the company intends to offer transportation for the 30-mile commute between Bristol and Essex.
Autumn Harp owner David Logan said that while it is impossible to know how many of the employees currently working in Bristol will make the jump to Essex, he is hopeful that most of the 160 will consider the offer.
Logan said that the Bristol property will make a great home for another small business, but that Autumn Harp has outgrown the 47,000-square foot facility on Pine Street.
“Unfortunately, we’re in a residential neighborhood,” Logan said, “and we’re very restricted in the amount that we could expand and grow the company here. We just can’t change that.”
Logan also said that the lack of a town wastewater disposal system contributed the decision to move out of Bristol.
Plans are in the works to expand the company’s 77,000-square foot Essex facility to roughly 125,000 square feet. Logan said that the company also hopes to expand its workforce, which currently stands at around 200 full-time employees, incrementally over time.