LONDONDERRY - A contested race may be shaping up for the state representative seat for the Bennington, Windham, Windsor- 1 district that will be left vacant when the term of the current state representative, Oliver Olsen, a Republican, ends next January. Olsen is not seeking reelection.
Recently Emmett Dunbar - who lives on Anjali Farm in South Londonderry - has announced that he plans to run against Charles "Tim" Goodwin as an Independent.
Dunbar, 40, said that he has planned on running for a number of years, but did not want to run against the district's former state representative, Rick Hube, a former neighbor.
Hube passed away unexpectedly in December 2009, and Olsen was appointed to fill his unexpired term. Olsen then won election to the seat in November 2010.
"I have wanted to be in community service this way to effect positive change and represent my neighbors in Montpelier in Vermont for a long time," Dunbar said in an interview via email.
Dunbar currently serves as the secretary of the West River Montessori School. He has also served as the president of the West River, Manchester and Chester Farmer's Markets. He was a founding co-chairman of the Farmer's Market Association of Vermont where he worked with representatives from the Republican, Democratic and Progressive parties in Montpelier to create the definition for farmer's markets in the state, Act 109, and to create the sign law for farmer's markets - Act H-725.
Dunbar holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Marlboro College Graduate School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hobart College.
Property taxes, economic development, securing working farms and a sustainable healthcare system are among the challenges that Dunbar sees facing his district when the next session begins in January.
If elected, Dunbar said he would also like to focus on early childhood education.
Goodwin, 65, announced in April that he would be running for the seat as an Independent and has received support from current state representatives - Olsen being among them.
"While both candidates are running as independents, Tim Goodwin is both thoughtful and hard-working and will bring a moderate, middle-of-the-road perspective to Montpelier," Olsen wrote in a statement. "Tim is a respected member of the community who is already developing important relationships that will be critical to his success and effectiveness as our next representative in Montpelier.
Tim has already earned the support of prominent Republicans, Democrats, and independents - a testament to his ability to work across the political spectrum. This election, the voters in our district will have a very clear choice; I will be 100 percent behind Tim."
State Representative Jeff Wilson (D-Manchester) is also supporting Goodwin. "Tim and I recently had a chance to meet and discuss the issues of the day, and I was very impressed by his avowed commitment to his district (carrying on a [Rick] Hube & Olsen tradition), experience and knowledge," Wilson wrote in a letter published in last week's Manchester Journal.