House candidates debate in Westfield


copyright the Chronicle October 19, 2016

by Tena Starr

A good 60 people came to the community center here Monday evening to listen to Republic incumbent Mark Higley and Democratic challenger Katherine Sims debate the issues. Mr. Higley has been the Orleans-Lamoille district’s representative since 2009. Ms. Sims challenged him in 2012 as well and lost 920-887. Following a recount, the vote was 924-892. The race is hotly contested, and both candidates are working hard for the district’s one seat.

The differences between the two were not as stark as one might expect in view of the fact that one is a progressive Democrat, the other a conservative Republican.

Neither likes Act 46 or the current siting process for renewable energy projects. The two didn’t even clash on gun control. They did differ on legalizing marijuana and their views of the most pressing issues in the district, which includes Lowell, Westfield, Jay, Eden and part of Troy.

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Sims asks for recount in Orleans-Lamoille House district

Moderator Tod Pronto chats with Orleans-Lamoille House Katherine Sims and Mark Higley. Photo by Joseph Gresser

by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle, 11-21-2012

NEWPORT — House candidate Katherine Sims of Lowell has asked for a recount of the ballots in the Orleans-Lamoille House district.

Mark Higley was re-elected in that district by a vote of 920 to 887, according to unofficial results collected by the Chronicle on election night.  The same numbers are listed on the website of the Vermont secretary of state.

Sue Pion at the Orleans County Superior Court said the recount has been scheduled for December 5.  On that day, ballots from Eden, Jay, Lowell, Westfield, and part of Troy will be delivered to the county court.  Each bag will be opened one by one, Ms. Pion said, and recounted.  There will be representatives of the Democratic, Republican, and Progressive parties on hand.

In an e-mail, Ms. Sims said she decided to ask for a recount because the difference was less than 2 percent.

“The race was very close with a difference of only 33 votes (less than 2 percent).  I feel that I owe it to my supporters to follow through with the recount process and to ensure that every vote was counted.

“This has been a positive campaign so far, and I feel confident that the recount process will move forward swiftly and smoothly.  I have really enjoyed the opportunity to campaign and to meet so many of my neighbors.  This is a truly special place.  No matter what the outcome of the recount, this election has demonstrated the power of a grassroots campaign to bring people together to talk about the important issues facing our community,” the e-mail said.

Mark Higley is a Republican and served in the House for two years on the Government Operations Committee.  Katherine Sims is a Democrat and Progressive.  This is her first campaign.

The 33-vote margin between them is 1.8 percent of the total votes cast.

contact Bethany M. Dunbar at [email protected]

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