Bristol-area races shape up

MIDDLEBURY — With nomination petitions due this week, relatively few candidate petitions had been filed with district town clerks or Addison County Superior Court as the Addison Independent went to press on Friday.
But at least one local Vermont House district was shaping up as a fierce election battleground: Addison-4, the two-seat district that includes Bristol, Starksboro, Monkton and Lincoln.
There, longtime incumbent Democratic Reps. Michael Fisher of Lincoln and David Sharpe of Bristol are facing steep opposition from the GOP. Bristol Republican and former Selectman Fred Baser has filed his petition papers, while fellow party members John “Peeker” Heffernan of Bristol and Dan Nugent of Starksboro were out gathering signatures to get on the ballot.
Assuming Heffernan and Nugent meet the June 17 filing deadline, they and Baser would compete in a three-way primary on Aug. 24 to determine which two would face Sharpe and Fisher in the Nov. 2 general election.
Sharpe had filed his papers at press-time, while Fisher was collecting signatures.
Prospective candidates for the Vermont House, Senate, county and statewide offices have until this Thursday, June 17, to submit their nomination papers in order to meet new campaign filing deadlines established by the Legislature this past session.
With the exception of Addison-5 Rep. Chris Bray, D-New Haven (who is running for lieutenant governor, along with Starksboro Republican Mark Snelling), all of Addison County’s incumbent lawmakers have at least informally indicated a desire to run for re-election.
Candidates who had filed their petitions as of press-time were:
• Rep. Betty Nuovo, D-Middlebury, in Addison-1. The other incumbent in that two-seat district is Rep. Steve Maier, D-Middlebury.
• Rep. Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, in Addison-3, the two-seat district that includes Ferrisburgh, Addison, Panton, Vergennes and Waltham. The other incumbent is Rep. Greg Clark, R-Vergennes.
• Weybridge Democrat Spence Putnam in Addison-5, the district that includes Bridport, New Haven and Weybridge.
Rep. Willem Jewett, D-Ripton, confirmed through an e-mail that he will seek another term representing Addison-2, the district that includes Cornwall, Goshen, Hancock, Ripton, Leicester and Salisbury.
Rep. Will Stevens, I-Shoreham, is the incumbent representing Addison-Rutland-1, the district that includes Orwell, Shoreham, Whiting and Benson. As an independent, Stevens must file his petition with the Vermont Secretary of State’s office by June 17, a step he said he will take.
Major party candidates for county offices and Addison County/Brandon’s two state Senate seats must file papers with Addison County Superior Court. Court officials said on Thursday they had thus far received nomination papers from incumbent side Judge Frank Broughton and Addison County Probate Court Judge Eleanor “Misse” Smith. Incumbent Democrats Claire Ayer of Weybridge and Harold Giard of Bridport currently represent Addison County and Brandon in the Senate.
The Addison Independent will publish a comprehensive report on the slate of candidates that emerges following the June 17 filing deadline.
More information about rules governing the 2010 elections can be found at the Secretary of State’s website at www.sec.state.vt.us, or by contact Kathy DeWolfe, director of elections, at 802-828-2363.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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