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Surprise! Rep. David Sharpe won’t run for re-election

UPDATED: BRISTOL — Longtime state Rep. Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol, and chairman of the House Education Committee, announced at his hometown annual gathering Monday night that he won’t seek re-election to another term representing the Addison-4 Vermont House of Representatives district.
Sharpe, a former Bristol selectman, was first elected to the House in 2002. He has won re-election every two years since then. He spent the bulk of his legislative tenure on the House Ways & Means Committee before being named leader of House Education in 2015.
As chairman of House Education, Sharpe, 71, has helped shepherd bills aimed at improving school quality and containing education spending. He was a champion of Act 46, a law that promoted consolidating education governance and budgeting within the state’s individual school supervisory unions.
Sharpe was very brief in delivering his statement about his political future to his constituents on Monday evening:
“I’ve been honored to serve this community and neighboring communities in the Legislature. This is my 16th year, and I will not be seeking re-election this fall.”
The Independent will feature a more elaborate report about Sharpe’s long legislative run in Monday’s edition.
Reached out of state on Tuesday, Sharpe said his decision to step away from the House was based on a desire to “do other things,” including traveling and spending more time with his spouse, Pat, and their grandchildren.
He added he’s pleased to be leaving at a time when he still enjoys support from a majority of district voters.
Sharpe is confident other candidates will fill the breach that will be left by his absence. He said the Trump presidency is energizing Democrats nationwide to run for office.
“My stepping aside allows for fresh blood, fresh ideas and new energy to come into the Statehouse,” Sharpe said. “I think it’s a good thing.”
Democrats Mari Cordes and Paul Forlenza, both of Lincoln have thus far declared plans to run in Addison-4, a two-seat district representing the towns of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton and Starksboro.
Incumbent Rep. Fred Baser, R-Bristol, is expected to run for re-election. Baser has emerged as a popular, bipartisan lawmaker who currently serves on the House Ways & Means Committee.

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