Ross: A few primary thoughts
Vermont's primary elections are set for Aug. 11 for in person voting and are already in progress for voting by mail. This year the Republican primary is of more interest than usual for two reasons. One, there is a serious challenge to incumbent Gov. Phil Scott. Two, there are two candidates from the Northshire that are in play. Statewide the Republican party has been dormant, almost extinct, for several years. This allowed the Demo-Prog coalition to dominate both houses of the Legislature with huge majorities. This year the party is showing signs of life and making a serious attempt at a comeback. The first candidate that deserves our support is Michael Hall who is running for state Senator from Bennington County. Since he decided to make this move after the deadline for filing petitions, he is, for now, a write in candidate. Mike Hall is well known and respected in the state, and especially in the Northshire, for his thirty plus years of service to the Manchester Police Dept., capped by his very successful tenure as Chief of Police. Under his leadership the department was modernized and brought to a high standard of community police practice. Given that there is a heated discussion in the state about the police and how police forces do their jobs,
Chief Hall will be a valuable and effective police presence in the Legislature. The discussions now are dominated by those who distrust or fear or do not understand the jobs police perform routinely. We need the input of someone who has "walked the walk" not just talks the talk of effective law enforcement.
Another newcomer who deserves our support is Meg Hansen for Lieutenant Governor. She is a first time candidate for office. Her campaign is largely motivated by her experiences as a business owner. She is concerned that high taxes and too much red tape deters business growth in Vt. Her concerns for party unity lead her to refuse to attack her opponents in any way that might divide the party. She has the courage to support Pres. Trump because his economic policies have been a benefit to Vt. She believes her status as a 'person of color' will be an asset in dealing with the issues that cause social tension in our state. She is a valuable asset to the political scene. For the Governor's job, it is time to retire Mr. Scott and try a new face. In fairness to Scott, he has had to try to govern with not enough support in the Legislature to really matter. On the other hand, he has done very little to try and rebuild his party's strength. He rarely attempts to challenge whatever the Legislature proposes. He has been too much influenced by the Vt. NEA on education matters and the VPIRG on environmental matters. He has declined to support our police in the face of the viscous attacks on them from the 'social justice warriors' and their fellow travelers. The best pick for Governor is John Klar.
Klar has run a strong statewide campaign. He has also recruited about twenty five candidates to run for the Legislature, including several persons of African American descent and also several female candidates. He is making a major effort to rebuild his party so that Vermont will again have a two party system of government. His background as a farmer, businessman and attorney gives him ample experience in dealing with Vermont matters whether they be economic, political or social. His issues are strongly pro-business, concerns about high taxes and education costs, plus the need for Vermont to have sensible environmental practices, but not try to save the planet all by ourselves. He openly questions the validity of the BLM claims that 'systematic racism' dominates Vermont life and is the most pressing of our problems. He is an outspoken defender of our state and local police practices and refuses to condone the abuse heaped on them.
I am making no suggestions for the Democratic primary, the candidates there are mostly re-treads trying again with no new ideas, or, they are entrenched incumbents who avoid rocking any boats and seldom make a move without the approval of the VT NEA or VPIRG.
Linda Joy Sullivan has made a compelling case for herself to become the State Auditor. Since 'Vermont' and 'economic problems' are almost synonyms, she could be a fresh eye on our state convoluted finances.
Weiland Ross writes a regular column for the Journal.
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