Livingston announces write-in campaign

MANCHESTER - There's another candidate to consider for Tuesday's Primary election. Judy Livingston, a Republican and former representative for the district, has launched a write-in campaign.

Livingston, who served for 7 terms in the state legislature until 2008, when she lost a close bid for re-election to Jeff Wilson, a Democrat. "I had been in office for 14 years and lost my last election," she said. "A lot of people have been asking me to run again. There's a huge imbalance of party in Montpelier. The state is being run by one party."

After some thought, Livingston said it was Walt Freed, her political mentor and former Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives, who convinced her to run. She said her 14 years in the House would be an advantage.

Anita Sheldon, Manchester town clerk, said a write-in candidate needs to receive at least 25 votes, as well as the majority of votes or the second highest in the primary to be considered for the general election. Livingston would be in the ballot in November if she receives at least 25 votes during Tuesday's primary election.

When in office previously, Livingston said she was very involved in educational finance.

ÒI fought against Act 60 and 68 [when previously in office] and didn't believe it would solve the education financing problems we had," she said. "Instead, we created a new imbalance of funding."

While Vermont has great teachers, schools and very involved parents, Livingston said that the returns from the amount of per pupil spending is not what it should be, noting that this past March during Town Meeting voting, 35 districts saw their school budgets defeated.

"This has huge ramifications," she said. "This is the inevitable downside of Act 60 and 68. People simply cannot afford student spending anymore and are pushing back."

As for Governor Peter Shumlin's health care plan, Livingston said she does not know his intent for the plan. She is not in favor of the plan, because it would add to the tax burden of the average Vermonter, she said.

If reelected, Livingston said she would like to be involved in the House Commerce Committee again. She has served there in pervious terms. "Building a tax base in this state is very important, it is the only way to remove the tax burden from Vermont voters," she said. "My biggest concerns are fiscal."

Patti Komline, a Republican who represents Danby, Dorset, Landgrove, Mt. Tabor and Peru in the state legislature, said she is pleased Livingston chose to run.

"Given the healthcare and education funding challenges facing the states, we need smart people with experience serving in Montpelier," she said in an email. "Judy Livingston will be able to hit the ground running."

There is one other Republican, Tony duPont, running this election cycle for representative. Newcomer Steve Berry and incumbent Cynthia Browning, both Democrats, fill out the ballot. In the primary all three, duPont, Berry and Browning, will make it through the general election. If Livingston secures all 25 votes, she will be on the general election ballot as well.

In the general election, the two candidates with the most votes will represent Arlington, Manchester, most of Sunderland and Sandgate in Montpelier.


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