Letter to the editor: County needs effective leaders, not feel-good rhetoric

With Senator Claire Ayer’s decision not to seek re-election, Addison County has a rare open seat for Vermont Senate this November.  
As both a constituent and a colleague (from 2003-2016) I want to give my heartfelt thanks to Senator Ayer for her disciplined and dedicated service. Making progress in the State House is difficult, and to be successful you need to work hard — but hard work alone is not enough. Only when you are trusted and respected by a wide range of members can you make real progress. Senator Ayer demonstrated this, and we owe it to our county to replace her with someone who will be just as effective.
I have worked with many of this year’s Senate candidates, including serving with both Senator Chris Bray and Paul Ralston. Chris, like Claire, has a long record of accomplishment delivering major bills — bills that have created jobs and a cleaner, healthier environment. He deserves our continued support. In contrast, Paul’s four years in Montpelier produced very little. 
I have worked with Ruth Hardy on education issues during a difficult time of change, and I have heard very positive things about her work in the Middlebury College Treasurer’s office in tight budget times. 
I will be proudly voting for the re-election of Chris Bray and for the election of Ruth Hardy to fill Senator Ayer’s open seat. Both have demonstrated a willingness to take on difficult issues using a collaborative approach, engaging both those who agree with them and those who don’t. 
Addison County needs genuine teamwork and senators who will steadfastly advance the interests of our county and our state. We do not need candidates whose campaign consists of feel-good rhetoric, clever marketing, and blind support for Phil Scott. 
Willem Jewett, former State Representative Addison-2 

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