Editor of the Reformer:

I am writing to encourage Vermonters to vote in the upcoming Tuesday, Aug. 26, primary election. Events in Ferguson, Mo., show us what happens when people don’t show up at the polls to make their voices heard -- they are left out of the political process and their needs are not represented in the legislature, in the town hall, on the police force or in any other public institution.

I am voting for incumbent Senator Jeanette White because whenever I attend an event in support of a cause or an organization near and dear to my heart, Senator White is there. Whether it is disability rights or job creation, Senator White is eager to move our state forward and take advantage of new ideas, new technology and new opportunities for Vermonters. We need the personal, consensus-building approach that she brings to Montpelier.

There is a reason Vermont is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the United States and it is because we care enough to show up and vote for the elected representatives who have our best interests at heart. But we could lose this legacy in one election cycle if we don’t show up and make our voices heard.

Prudence Baird,

Brattleboro, Aug. 15

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Editor of the Reformer:

I am writing today to express my support for Roger Allbee for state senator. While I cannot actually vote for Roger due to the fact I live in Wilmington, I would in a heartbeat if I could.


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Roger has a long history of serving, and is uniquely qualified to be a state senator. He is a student of Vermont’s rich history, yet has a firm grasp of where we need to be heading as a state. Roger’s leadership in the recent past as Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture and as Executive Director of our state’s USDA Farm Service Agency has helped to drive Vermont’s "renaissance in Agriculture." He led these agencies in a way that worked to help all Vermonters, always keeping in mind the need to balance food production and consumer issues such as the environment. Roger is not particularly interested in partisan politics, but rather, working with any and all to achieve what is best.

More important to me than any of the above is that Roger is a gentleman. He listens and he cares. He acts on what he knows to be the right thing.

I urge all your readers to vote for Roger Allbee for state senator in the primary, Aug. 26. We need Roger in Montpelier.

Rob Wheeler,

Wilmington, Aug. 15

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Editor of the Reformer:

Realizing that primary elections are not particularly popular I would, nonetheless, encourage you to go to the polls this month to vote. One seemingly obscure position is for assistant, or side, judge. I will support Paul Kane who has ample qualification and skills to do an excellent job. Paul is from Bellows Falls, studied social work at NYU, worked for 30 years in various social service positions, worked at the Department of Corrections as a supervisor and parole officer and was the owner of PK’s Pub in Bellows Falls.

The assistant judge position includes administrative duties but also works in Family and Probate Court. Paul has written numerous dispositions and case plans and is certified in conflict resolution.

I think he’d be perfect in this job. Join me in supporting Paul Kane on Aug. 26.

Bill Holiday,

Dummerston, Aug. 13

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Editor of the Reformer:

I am writing this letter to endorse Laura Sibilia as our representative in the Legislature. Laura has been a friend and neighbor for many years. She has been a strong member of the Dover School Board for several years. She studies the issues and gets the facts. I believe she can take to Montpelier something that is lacking in the Legislature. That is common sense. Laura is strong, conscientious, determined. She has been a strong and effective voice for the town of Dover. Laura will get all the facts and work very hard to do what is fair and equitable for all the towns. She’ll use that common sense that is so lacking, to do what is right.

I hope you’ll give her your vote.

Mary Lou Raymo,

Dover, Aug. 17

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Editor of the Reformer:

As early voting has already started for the Aug. 26 primary, it is our pleasure to encourage Windham County voters to get to the polls and to support our current senator, Jeanette White, and newcomer Becca Balint for Vermont State Senate.

Both of these women have excellent listening skills and have demonstrated their talents for articulating perspectives on issues we face here in southern Vermont in ways that are thoughtful and considerate. Balint and White have also shown themselves to be strong and intelligent advocates on issues that are important to Vermont: support for our teachers, students, and schools; community-oriented work force development; and developing environmentally and socially sustainable economic policies.

We think that they will make a great team in the Senate. Senator White brings her considerable experience and her reputation for fairness and respect for her colleagues and constituents. Becca Balint will bring a fresh and intelligent voice to Montpelier. Both are deserving of our support.

We encourage Windham County voters to join us in early voting or at the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Scott Ainslie and Barb Ackemann,

Brattleboro, Aug. 17

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Editor of the Reformer:

As I am now Windham County Chair for the Democrats, you will not usually see me making endorsements during a Democratic political primary. However, in the unusual race for Lt. Governor, I am strongly asking Democratic voters to write-in on their ballots the name of Progressive Party candidate Dean Corren for Lt. Governor of the state of Vermont. My county Democratic committee strongly approves my doing this, as does Corren himself.

If Corren, the Progressive Party candidate, gets enough write-in votes -- a modest number, 250 statewide I think, he can run as a P/D (Progressive/Democrat) on the ballot in November and be the Democratic Party’s official candidate.

The Vermont Democratic Committee gave Corren a very welcome reception and a "bully pulpit" (long speech opportunity) during our July meeting at the Statehouse in Montpelier. We also made a point of recording in our minutes that he has received the strong endorsement of our previous candidate, Lamoille County’s John Bauer. In late June, Governor Peter Shumlin also endorsed Corren, citing the crucial issue of single-payer health care, which Republican incumbent Phil Scott does not support.

And while Dean Corren successfully qualified for over $200,000 in public funding of his campaign by getting a huge number of small donations from different people, Scott trumpets his support in larger gifts from individuals, businesses, and corporations, and says openly that his is the better way to fund a campaign.

So there is no clearer possible ideological choice this Fall than your support for Dean Corren. Let’s give him the Democratic nod -- write his name in on the ballot next Tuesday, or sooner, if you vote in advance or by absentee ballot.

C-O-R-R-E-N -- Dean Corren for Lieutenant Governor. I’m writing him in. Are you?

John Wilmerding,

Chairman, Windham County Democratic Committee, Aug. 19

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Editor of the Reformer:

In the Democratic primary next Tuesday please vote for Becca Balint and Jeanette White for Senate.

Becca is extraordinarily savvy and dedicated. She will put people first and bring the Senate new spark and vision. Jeanette has proven a tireless worker for right causes and brings invaluable experience as chairwoman of the Government Operations Committee.

And please write-in Dean Corren, the Progressive candidate for Lt. Governor (and blacken the bubble!). With the Governor’s endorsement, he is seeking the Democratic nomination. He has a remarkable record of public service and will energize our work for single-payer health care, renewable energy and economic justice.

Lee Stookey,

Brattleboro, Aug. 19

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Editor of the Reformer:

I am endorsing Joan Bowman for Windham County senator. Joan is an intelligent person with integrity who will put the citizens first when representing Windham County. Her knowledge of the health and wellness issues effecting all of us, as well as her compassion for those experiencing the everyday challenges of making ends meet, whether a family or small business, provides Joan with a depth of understanding that we so desperately need in our representatives. Joan’s experience in Montpelier working on health care reform has given her perspective that will be invaluable when representing Windham County. Also, her background as a business woman will be an asset when evaluating the complex financial issues facing Vermont and its citizens. Please join me in supporting and voting for Joan Bowman both in the primary on Aug. 26 as well as in November.

Beth M. Shrader,

Westminster, Aug. 20

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Editor of the Reformer:

I am a candidate for re-election, for the position of an assistant judge of Windham County. I am currently serving my second, four-year term and am now working with Assistant Judge Lamont Barnett. This judicial position is unique to the state of Vermont. There are two assistant judges in each of Vermont’s 14 counties. The two assistant judges sit with the presiding judge, but they have input only on the matters of fact, in family court proceedings with matters of law left to the presiding judge. The other duties of our position (in addition to court responsibilities) are with the Newfane County Courthouse -- we appoint the county clerk and treasurer, we oversee the county courthouse, we prepare the county budget, make updates, and improvements for the county’s grounds and buildings. I have thoroughly enjoyed this position over the past eight years.

Before I became an assistant judge, I worked as a para educator at Brattleboro Union High School for students with special needs, and I worked as a mental health worker at the school at the Brattleboro Retreat. We have a very special community and I understand the needs of our children that surround us. As well, I have served on many boards before becoming an assistant judge; board of civil authority, justice of the peace, town meeting representative, town/democratic committee, and church related boards.

I, myself, am a single mother with three daughters and it is sometimes difficult to make ends meet, so I have an understanding on what the families in our county go through. I understand the struggles of today’s economy. I have lived and grown up in Windham County my whole life, and it’s where I make a home for my children and myself. I care deeply about our county, so please help support me with a vote on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Patricia W. Duff,

Brattleboro, Aug. 15

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Editor’s note: The Reformer has received numerous letters of support for almost every candidate on the ballot for the primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 26. We have also received letters of support for candidates who are running for state offices but won’t be on the ballots until the primary election in November. The Reformer will make every effort to run as many of the letters as possible, but will not be printing any more campaign letters after Aug. 23. However, letters that haven’t been printed will still be posted at www.reformer.com.