Cordes, Elder prevail in Addison-4 runoff

BRISTOL — Democrats in the Addison-4 district towns of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton and Starksboro on Tuesday overwhelmingly picked Mari Cordes and Caleb Elder to move on to the general election on Nov. 6, when they’ll vie against two Republican candidates for the district’s two seats in the Vermont House.
Cordes, a longtime nurse and Lincoln resident, was the top vote getter in the Addison-4 Democratic primary, notching a total of 1,037 tallies. She out-polled her three competitors in Bristol, Lincoln and Monkton, while Elder narrowly edged Cordes 202-198 in his hometown of Starksboro.
Elder, who works in the renewable energy industry, finished in second place overall, with 865 votes.
Finishing out of the running were Paul Forlenza of Lincoln, in third place, with 516 votes, followed by Rob Demic of Bristol, who garnered 297 tallies.
Cordes and Elder will now move into campaign mode for the general election, in which they’ll face incumbent Rep. Fred Baser, R-Bristol, and Monkton Republican Valerie Mullin.
Tuesday’s crowded Addison-4 primary was in part attributable to the impending retirement of longtime incumbent Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol.
A tired but happy Cordes shared some of her post-election thoughts Wednesday morning.
“My campaign team and I are thrilled to be one of the top two vote getters, and that we’re moving forward to the general election,” Cordes said. “It was an incredible primary race.”
She gave kudos to her three competitors for helping lay out some of the important issues facing the state and country. Those issues, according to Cordes, include the disparity in wealth between people of modest and significant means, the need to adopt a livable wage standard in Vermont, and implementing better safeguards for the environment.
“We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us,” Cordes said of the weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 elections.
Elder was also humbled by the support he received from Addison-4 voters.
“I’m really thrilled to have the opportunity to serve this district and run in the general election,” Elder said.
“I’m going to get ready for November.”
He added he’s pleased to run alongside Cordes, and he praised Forlenza and Demic for their efforts in a race that was amicable and active. Voters got a chance to hear the four competitors at four separate candidate forums. Also, each of the candidates were profiled in the Addison Independent.
Elder said he did as much door-to-door campaigning as his work schedule would allow, and plans to do more of it during the next few months.
“I definitely want to work hard in the general,” Elder said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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