Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Hardy endorses Ingram

The most hotly contested statewide election in Vermont this year is the race for lieutenant governor. Among four strong Democratic candidates, I am proudly endorsing Sen. Debbie Ingram for lieutenant governor. Debbie has the skills, temperament and experience to most effectively do the job of lieutenant governor. She has put in the hard work of serving as an elected official at the local and state level with integrity and grace. As the executive director of Vermont Interfaith Action, Debbie has led a statewide organization that brings diverse people together to advocate for just public policies.
Officially, the primary duty of the lieutenant governor is to preside over meetings of the full Senate, facilitating the debate of 30 senators to ensure we do our work in a manner that’s fair, courteous and inclusive. As a minister, non-profit leader and former TV producer, Debbie is a skilled facilitator who has presided over hundreds of meetings and projects, helping diverse groups of people conduct their business effectively, efficiently and ethically.
With few other official duties, the lieutenant governor acts as a conduit for public opinion, traveling the state and hosting Vermonters at the State House to hear their ideas and concerns, and help them access state government. Debbie’s skills, developed through years of work as a community leader, are perfectly matched for this job. As a senator and former selectboard member, she understands public service and the job of responding to constituent needs and concerns. She’s a thoughtful leader who seeks out varying perspectives and actively listens to marginalized voices to build strong coalitions and create just and equitable outcomes. 
I first met Debbie when I was the executive director of Emerge Vermont and she was a member of the first class of women I helped train to run for public office. Since then, both of us have had the honor of serving in the Vermont Senate, where Debbie has been one of my closest friends and strongest allies. She speaks truth to power and is not afraid to do what’s right. Debbie would be Vermont’s first openly gay lieutenant governor and a strong voice for justice in our state. Please join me in voting for Debbie Ingram for lieutenant governor.
Finally, in the only contested Addison County primary, I am endorsing Dave Silberman for high bailiff. Dave has long been a strong advocate for smart, equitable criminal justice reform. The only official duty of a high bailiff is to remove the sheriff should they fail to perform their duties, and Dave is running to bring citizen voice and involvement to law enforcement policy and oversight. Dave is always open to a good conversation about the issues and would be a reliable, ethical public servant for our county.
Sen. Ruth Hardy
East Middlebury

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