BELLOWS FALLS -- On the same night Republican delegates in Tampa nominated Mitt Romney as President Barack Obama's GOP opponent, voters in Windham-3 picked current state representatives Carolyn Patridge and Matthew Trieber as their Democratic candidates for the district's two House seats up for grabs in November.
Partridge, who has been serving in the state Legislature for 14 years, received 751 votes in Tuesday's primary while Trieber, appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin as a replacement for a resigning state representative, garnered 736. Chris Moore, an attorney in Bellows Falls and the only other person seeking a nomination for a House seat, got 569 votes.
Partridge said she stood outside the Masonic Temple, used as a polling location, in Bellows Falls for 10 hours on Tuesday to meet with constituents.
"I'm very happy and I appreciate the trust the voters have in me," she said in a telephone interview after the polls closed. "I'm looking forward to the general election (on Tuesday, Nov. 6)."
The chairwoman of the House Agriculture Committee, Partridge said last week she really enjoys serving her constituents and has learned a lot during her seven terms about how to access resources for them.
She first entered politics with the goal of reforming the health care system after her son nearly died due to a ruptured appendix.
In addition to experience working as a seamstress and a farmer, Partridge, like Trieber, has a science background. She is a 1971 graduate of New York University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in oceanography and minored in mathematics and biology.
Trieber majored in earth and space sciences at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. After graduation, he began work in environmental consulting in New York and in Brattleboro before opening Atkinson Street Environmental, LLC, in 2008. A current member of the Rockingham Selectboard, he ran for a seat in 2010 hoping to make a change.
Trieber could not be reached for comment on Tuesday but said last week he is running for a House seat because of his love for his community.
He joined the Selectboard with a one-year seat in March 2010 and in August ran to expand his term when member Bob Thomson resigned a few months into a three-year term.
Trieber was serving on the board and working in environmental consulting when State Rep. Mike Obuchowski took a job in the Shumlin administration. This left a vacancy in the Legislature and Trieber was one of the individuals to give a speech explaining how they would be a good replacement. Trieber and two others emerged as the top three following a secret vote by caucus voters and Shumlin appointed him from that short list.
Moore, an eighth-generation Vermonter in his 10th year of law practice in Bellows Falls, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
He ran with ideas that included making the designated Bellows Falls downtown free from sales, room and meals taxes as a way to boost the local economy and offering income tax credits to college graduates that choose to stay in the area.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.