Sheldon, Scheu top field in Middlebury House race

MIDDLEBURY — After the votes were tallied in the Addison-1 House district on Tuesday, incumbent Rep. Amy Sheldon and Robin Scheu each came away winning two-year terms to the Vermont House of Representatives.
Sheldon, running as a Democrat/Progressive, was the top vote getter with 2,210 tallies, or 29.7 percent, followed by Scheu, a Democrat, with 1,937, or 26 percent.
Progressive candidate Jill Charbonneau gathered 1,377 votes, or 18 percent, to finish third in the race for the two seats that represent the town of Middlebury.
The vote on Tuesday reflected August’s Democratic Primary results, which also had Sheldon finishing ahead of Scheu and Charbonneau finishing third. After losing the Democratic Primary, Charbonneau ran in the General Election as a Progressive.
Sheldon on Wednesday expressed relief at the end of the campaign and said she looked forward to going back to Montpelier.
“It’s been a long, hard campaign, and I love being in the Legislature,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to the Legislature and focusing more completely on my work for Vermonters and Middlebury residents.”
Following the election results, Sheldon said her stances on the environment, taxation and healthcare helped her across the finish line, adding these would be the issues she’d work on as she returns to Montpelier.
“If we can move forward on those issues, we’ll be doing good work,” she said.
As the executive director of the Addison County Economic Development Corp., Scheu said she ran on a platform of economic development, environmental preservation and education. 
“My experience in Vermont is that people vote for people,” she said. “The issues are important but at the end of the day, that’s what they vote on.”
Scheu takes the House seat vacated by Middlebury resident Betty Nuovo, who retired after serving 15 terms in the House, starting in 1981.
“I think Betty did an amazing job and she’s provided an amazing service to this community,” Scheu said. “I admire her a lot and I’m really honored to be the one attempting to follow in her footsteps.”
Third-place finisher Charbonneau said she ran on many of the same issues as her opponents, but “from a labor perspective.” 
“At first I was disappointed, but I had worthy opponents,” she said. “Being a third-party candidate is never easy. Robin and Amy are wonderful women and I know they’ll serve Vermont well.”
Sheldon and Scheu will join the Legislature with Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott, who beat Democratic candidate Sue Minter.
Sheldon, facing only her second term in office, said this would be her first time being in the Legislature while a Republican held the governor’s office.
“I look forward to learning how that can work productively,” she said. 
Sheldon said the watchword for this coming legislative session would be collaboration.
“I’d like to see working together continue to be a priority,” she said. “I think Vermont is lucky to have a functioning democracy and we’ve got to continue to take care of it.” 

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