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Bristol-area Reps. Elder and Cordes keep seats

This session it will also be important to look at everything we do in terms racial equity and social justice. That’s not specific to any bill but a lens through which we should be viewing all bills. I think that’s been an important lesson in 2020.
— Rep. Caleb Elder

ADDISON COUNTY — Incumbents Caleb Elder (D-Starksboro) and Mari Cordes (D-Lincoln) on Tuesday won re-election to their Vermont House seats in the Addison-4 district, which comprises Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton and Starksboro.
Of the 11,343 votes cast, Elder won 3,106 (27.4%) and Cordes won 2,910 (25.7%), according to the unofficial results posted by the Vermont Secretary of State’s office Wednesday morning.
The two Democrats were top vote-getters in each of the district’s four towns.
Monkton Republican Valerie Mullin won 1,903 votes (16.8%) and Bristol Republican Lynn Dike won 1,792 votes (15.8%).
This will be the second term for both representatives. In the last biennium Elder served on the House Education Committee and Cordes served on the House Health Care Committee.
Looking ahead, Elder’s focus out of the gate will be on the priorities he ran on — expanding childcare, improving education finance and working on climate change — he told the Independent on Wednesday morning.
“This session it will also be important to look at everything we do in terms racial equity and social justice,” he said. “That’s not specific to any bill but a lens through which we should be viewing all bills. I think that’s been an important lesson in 2020.”
Cordes said she’ll continue fighting to make health care more affordable and more accessible for Vermonters, but she predicted that the upcoming biennium will be a tough one.
“We’ll be focused on getting through COVID-19 and the economic repercussions,” she said, “but so much of our work is dependent on the federal government and the Supreme Court.”
The possibility that a newly aligned Supreme Court could make rulings that would take away health care from millions of Americans, or dismantle such protections as those for pre-existing conditions, looms large over the work state legislators will be focusing on.
Still, Cordes and other legislators are working together to address a number of issues contributing to Vermont’s health care crisis, she said, including the outsize influence of “big pharma” and pharmacy benefit managers.
“So the flipside of this is that it’s an opportunity,” she said.

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