Scott to fill spot left by Rep. Eastman; applicants sought for Orwell House seat
ORWELL — In addition to the task of naming a new Addison County state’s attorney (see related story), Governor-elect Phil Scott during his first month on the job will be asked to fill a House seat being vacated by Orwell independent Alyson Eastman, who has agreed to serve as Scott’s deputy secretary of agriculture.
Eastman’s independent status will give Scott even more flexibility in selecting her successor for the Addison-Rutland House seat that represents Orwell, Shoreham, Whiting and Benson.
Under Chapter 17, section 2623, of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, the governor may request that the political party or parties of the departing lawmaker submit one or more recommendations for a successor. The governor can pick from the party’s list, or go off the board and select a successor of his or her choice. Since Eastman is not affiliated with a major party, Scott will be able to freelance in picking someone from within the four-town district.
Scott, at Berlin Republican and the incumbent lieutenant governor, defeated Democrat Sue Minter for the state’s top administrative job this past November.
Eastman has represented the Addison-Rutland House district since she was elected unopposed in 2014. She again ran unopposed for the seat this past November.
On Dec. 22 Eastman confirmed her acceptance of Scott’s offer to serve as deputy ag secretary. She will serve under Anson Tebbetts, whom Scott has picked as the new secretary of agriculture, replacing Chuck Ross.
Eastman said she’s honored to serve as deputy secretary for an industry that has been a huge part of her life. She was raised on a 270-acre family farm in Orwell. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Champlain College. She has served on the House Committee on Agriculture and Forest Products, and owns her own business — Lake Home Business Services Inc., in Orwell — providing farm labor consulting, bookkeeping and payroll services to farmers throughout Vermont. The home-based business has a handful of employees and completes immigration paperwork for foreign workers taking part in the H2A seasonal work visa program.
Reached by phone on Tuesday, Eastman confirmed she will be selling her business to one of her employees, Ashley Delphia Steady of Whiting. It’s a transaction that was in the works prior to Eastman’s new career opportunity.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].