MANCHESTER - Another candidate has thrown his hat in the ring for the race to represent Arlington, Manchester, Sandgate and Sunderland at the statehouse. Tony duPont, a Manchester resident, will run as a Republican this fall.

Originally from Delaware, duPont moved to California after studying economics at Yale and worked for Douglas Air, working on the early space efforts, an airplane that could take off a runway and fly into orbit and DP2, a design response to a Navy request.

"They told me your project is too expensive, you have to get a line item. I had to get it in the defense bill, that was fairly easy," he said. "But getting the Defense Department to spend the money, that was tough. I spent about a dozen years walking the halls and I learned a lot more about how the Congress works than I really never wanted to know."

While he has previously never run for or held public office, duPont does have experience with the government. He worked on building experimental aircraft for the Department of Defense and spent time on both Capital Hill and the Pentagon, securing the funding for his projects.

His decision to run came after Jeff Wilson announced he would not be seeking re-election.

"I think the legislature has become less and less responsive to the needs of people in Vermont," he said. "The Republican Party is a lot more in mind with my view of how the government ought to operate."

duPont believes the government needs to do a better job at providing the essential services it was created to do, but stay out of the areas that could be covered by businesses or non-profits. He said he wants to work to make Vermont a more business friendly state by attracting businesses like the aerospace industry to move into the state and develop the economy.

Even though Vermont has a reputation as a blue state with progressive politics, duPont said he thinks more people are conservative.

Tony Dupont
Tony Dupont

"I don't think it's a hopeless case [running as a Republican], it's more what you might call progressive propaganda," he said.

Property taxes and education spending - a hot topic this election cycle - can be controlled by being more careful with what appropriations are placed in the education fund, duPont said. Health care, duPont said, needs a solution to how it will be paid for, before any other decisions are made.

"The goal of having affordable health care for every body, nobody disagrees with that," he said. "But it's huge disagreement with how to get there. But right now, with Green Mountain Care, we don't have a road map."

duPont is currently collecting the signatures needed to file his petition to run by the June12 deadline.