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Middlebury stays with Sheldon, Scheu

MIDDLEBURY — Incumbent Addison-1 Reps. Amy Sheldon and Robin Scheu, both Democrats, easily won re-election on Tuesday in the two-seat House district that encompasses Middlebury.
Sheldon — a natural resource planner who chairs the House Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife Committee — was the top vote-getter in the three-person race, earning 3,137 tallies. She’s been an Addison-1 representative since 2015.
Scheu, a member of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, placed second, with 2,874 votes. Scheu most recently worked as executive director of the Addison County Economic Development Corp.
Republican Tom Hughes, a retired regional supervisor for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, placed third, with 1,042 tallies. He previously ran for an Addison-1 seat in 2014.
Sheldon, during a phone interview, said she hopes to continue her leadership role with the Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife Committee. She described her 2021 priorities as being “health and economic recovery from COVID-19, and working on climate-related issues and the environment.”
Sheldon has begun asking her committee colleagues what they’d like to prioritize, issues likely to range from solid waste management to Act 250 reforms.
Scheu, first elected in 2016, was gratified by the support she received.
“I’m really excited to be going back to (the Statehouse),” Scheu said. “I really enjoy this work.”
She declared a preference to stay on the Ways & Means Committee, where she and her colleagues work on tax laws that govern state revenues.
In addition to her work crunching numbers, Scheu has other priorities for the 2021 legislative session. They include:
•  Advancing a paid family leave bill, which she said has become more imperative for Vermonters during this COVID-19 era.
“The pandemic has shown the fragility of all of our systems,” Scheu said.
•  Implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act, which Scheu co-sponsored. Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the legislation (H.688), but the General Assembly overrode that veto. The new law, among other things, requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 26% below its 2005 levels, by the year 2025.
“Climate change isn’t going to work for us, and we have to deal with it now,” Scheu said.
•  Helping Vermonters and state government navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.
•  Looking at all legislation through a racial justice prism.
“I want to look at every priority bill and say, ‘What does this mean to people of color,’” Scheu said.
As a member of Ways & Means, Scheu anticipates work processing any new changes to federal tax laws that could come with a new presidential administration. As the Independent went to press on Wednesday, the race between Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump was still undecided.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected]

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