Independent, chamber of commerce to host candidate forums
VERGENNES/BRISTOL/MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County Chamber of Commerce and the Addison Independent are co-hosting three legislative candidate forums in October. These are non-partisan events in which candidates from all parties will be participating.
“While the written word offers voters the opportunity to understand where each candidate stands on the issues,” said Addison Independent publisher Angelo Lynn, “these three forums offer voters a venue in which they can contrast each candidate’s demeanor and see how well they respond off the cuff. Also, in breaking with tradition, we chose to have three regional forums, rather than one large forum as in past years, to allow voters to listen to the candidates they will vote for in their district without sitting through a single question being answered by 15-20 candidates. In that way, the Chamber and the Addy Indy hope to provide a more informative debate for the voters.”
The first forum will be held on Monday, Oct. 3, at 6 p.m. at Kennedy Brothers, 11 Main St., Vergennes. Candidates vying for the two Addison-3 district seats are Fritz Langrock (D), Diane Lanpher (D), Monique Thurston (R) and Warren Van Wyck (R). Addison-3 represents Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes, and Waltham.
The second forum will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at Mt. Abraham Union High School in Bristol. Candidates vying for seats in the Addison-4 and Addison-5 districts will be in attendance.
Addison-4 candidates, representing the towns of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton and Starksboro, include Fred Baser (R), Mari Cordes (P/D), Valerie Mullin (R), and David Sharpe (D). Addison-5 candidates, representing the towns of Bridport, New Haven and Weybridge, include Taborri Bruhl (D) and Harvey Smith (R).
The final forum will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. at Middlebury Union High School. This event will include the candidates vying for the Addison-1 and Addison-2 representative seats, as well as the county’s senatorial candidates.
There are three candidates running for two seats to represent the town of Middlebury in the Addison-1 race. The candidates are Jill Charbonneau (P), Robin Scheu (D) and Amy Sheldon (D/P). Peter Conlon is running unopposed for the Addison-2 seat, which represents the towns of Cornwall, Goshen, Hancock, Leicester, Ripton and Salisbury. Alyson Eastman (I) is running unopposed for the Addison/Rutland seat that represents Benson, Orwell, Shoreham and Whiting.
In addition, the Middlebury forum will include the four candidates who are running for the two senatorial seats that represent Addison County, Huntington and Buel’s Gore. The candidates are Claire Ayer (D), Peter Briggs (R), Christopher Bray (D) and Lynn Dike (R).
Each forum will be moderated by a staff member of the Addison Independent. Following a series of questions posed by the moderator to each candidate, questions may be posed by the audience directly to a candidate(s) either verbally or written on a card for the moderator to ask. Likely topics include:
Vermont state budget – taxes and spending
Health care – payment reform, Vermont Health Connect
Economic and workforce development
K-12 education – school district consolidation, property taxes
The forums are free to attend. Contact the Addison County Chamber at 388-7951 or [email protected] with any questions.