Two of Essex’s three legislative districts will offer contested elections this November, paperwork filed last week shows.
Six people have filed between Essex Jct.’s 8-1 district and Essex’s 8-2 district by the May 31 deadline.
Republican incumbent Linda Myers is seeking re-election to the Chittenden 8-1 district. Her former seatmate, Betsy Dunn (D), is stepping down so she can help take care of her sister, who has Alzheimer’s and lung cancer, she told The Reporter on Monday.
“I can’t say when I’m just going to need to have to leave and be here,” she said in a phone interview from her sister’s house out of state. “It breaks my heart not to be running.”
Dunn said she loved representing Essex and took special pride in a recent bill she passed that would remove all cost sharing for breast imaging in addition to a follow-up ultrasound if dense tissue is found.
“When I had my first bill that I introduced and it got through the House and went through the Senate …. It was what I knew I wanted to do,” she said. She added residents shouldn’t be surprised to see her name pop up again on a ballot down the road.
Jumping into the Chittenden 8-1 race are newcomer Democrats Marybeth Redmond and Tonya Vyhovsky, according to petitions filed with town clerk Susan McNamara-Hill.
The village’s Democrat duo of Dylan Giambatista and Lori Houghton are both seeking re-election. They’re joined by John R. Brennan (R).
Bob Bancroft, a Republican who represents the 8-3 district, which Essex shares with Westford, is running unopposed.
Candidates in all three districts will be on a designated party ballot this primary, Tuesday, Aug. 14, and will continue onto the general election, Tuesday, Nov. 6. The newcomers have a slight head start on the campaign trail, as the incumbents are still finishing out a special session in Montpelier to avert a government shutdown.
There are six candidates for governor going into the primary, including incumbent Gov. Phil Scott. Keith Stearn is the only other Republican seeking the state’s highest office.
Democratic challengers include James Ehlers of Winooski, Christine Hallquist of Hyde Park, Brenda Siegel of Newfane and Ethan Sonneborn of Bristol.
And H. Brooke Paige (R-Washington) is challenging incumbents Beth Pearce (D-Barre City), Jim Condos (D-Montpelier), Doug Hoffer (D-Burlington), and T.J. Donovan (D-South Burlington) for their offices of treasurer, secretary of state, auditor and attorney general, respectively.
The only other Essex resident vying for office this November is lawyer Jasdeep Pannu, who’s challenging Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the U.S. Senate.