copyright the Chronicle 10-31-2012
What follows is the least important part of the Chronicle’s election coverage. We have tried, in the course of this election season, to give the candidates a fair opportunity to speak for themselves, and our readers an opportunity to speak for the candidates of their choice.
But political endorsements are an old journalistic tradition, and one that in a few races we feel compelled to follow.
For state senator: Starr and Rodgers
With the departure of Vince Illuzzi from the state Senate, Orleans County is left with one legislator with an honest claim to deep experience and long seniority, and the influence that comes with them. Bobby Starr has served in both houses in Montpelier.
He served a highly effective stint as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and has a reasonable chance of taking over the chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee if he is returned to Montpelier. To fail to give him that opportunity would be to squander what little influence the Northeast Kingdom has over the conduct of the state’s business.
For the second choice for the two Senate seats in the Orleans-Essex district we endorse John Rodgers. He and Representative Bob Lewis both have experience in the House. Our review of their records indicates that Mr. Rodgers’ is stronger — that he has dealt effectively with issues that are closer to the heartbeat of our corner of the state.
Mr. Rodgers lost his House seat two years ago because he felt he was too busy with his small construction business to campaign. He has clearly learned his lesson. And as we watch his continuing struggle to juggle the demands of his own and the public’s business, we are reminded of an old adage: If you want to get something done, hire a busy man.
For lieutenant governor, Phil Scott
For lieutenant governor we like the incumbent, Phil Scott. As a Republican who presides over a Senate dominated by Democrats, Mr. Scott has proven to be an agile leader as well as an extremely bipartisan one.
In a State House where party bickering often gets in the way of conducting the state’s business, Mr. Scott has kept his mind on the job. From his place behind the podium, he neither scolded his colleagues nor blamed members of the opposition when a piece of legislation went begging for action.
As a lieutenant governor Mr. Scott has also been an active one outside the State House. He has traveled throughout the state talking to workers about the jobs they do, and often showing a willingness to roll up his sleeves and pitch in.
Perhaps his love for racing at Thunder Road has instilled in him a respect for people who work with their hands. Whatever the reason, it’s a commendable trait to see in any politician — especially one from a party that often seems aligned with power and wealth.
For state treasurer, Beth Pearce
In the treasurer’s race we recommend the election of Beth Pearce. She has ably performed the duties of the position over the past two years in a nonpartisan fashion. We believe that as the state moves toward taking a greater role in Vermont’s health care system, it will be important to have a treasurer who can work in a cooperative fashion to oversee major changes in a responsible fashion. Ms. Pearce, in our judgment, fits that bill.
Editors’ note: The Chronicle’s endorsements are based on a consensus of the editorial staff. Opinions are the writer’s own. This is the last edition before the election, which means we have edited out negative comments that might lead a candidate to wish to reply. This website, www.bartonchronicle.com, will be open for endorsements or other comments through November 2. You may leave a reply here or send a letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org