Opinion: Debate affirmed confidence in Sheldon and Nuovo

The Town Hall Theater forum, very effectively chaired by Independent publisher Angelo Lynn, let the three active candidates for Middlebury’s two legislative House seats address some challenging state issues with unrushed answers to open-ended questions.
The unfortunate conflict with the ACLU-sponsored reading at the Unitarian Universalist Society probably reduced attendance. But there was a good-sized, engaged audience, who appreciated the opportunity to hear the candidates and question them further. We hope that those who could not attend will watch the tape and judge for themselves.
The forum reinforced our conviction that Betty Nuovo’s intimate knowledge of the Legislature’s workings and her long and dedicated participation representing Middlebury easily merit her reelection. Amy Sheldon’s qualifications are extremely impressive, including her education, experience and expertise in environmental matters and her detailed knowledge of other subjects such as public schools and state economics. Her personal involvement with all these topics was apparent in the depth and organization of her responses. Both Mrs. Nuovo and Ms. Sheldon expressed unequivocal commitment to a single-payer healthcare system for Vermont.
The third candidate, Calvin McEathron, is a poised and well-informed young man, who may well make valuable future contributions to state politics. For now, however, there seems no urgent reason for a legislative run to interrupt his college education. His major concern is apparently an exodus of young people, which he implies is connected to Vermont’s having “one of the oldest Legislatures the country.” He does not define what “one of the oldest” means or show how legislative age has led to the younger generation’s departure. His opening quip that some Vermont legislators “don’t know the difference between a mosquito bite and a megabyte” was offensive and when pressed afterwards he could not name a legislator to whom the charge applies. We hope he will complete his Middlebury College degree and reside a little longer in the community before bidding to represent it; but we certainly expect to see more of him.
We urge our fellow Middlebury voters to elect Amy Sheldon and re-elect Betty Nuovo. And we hope our excellent Addison County House contingent will continue to include David Sharpe, Michael Fisher, Diane Lanpher and Willem Jewett.
Judy and Michael Olinick

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