Letter: I support Shap Smith

I support Shap Smith

Editor of the Reformer:

As Democrats, we have a choice to make in the Aug. 9 primary for Lt. Governor. My choice is Shap Smith. I have the great privilege to serve in the Vermont House and that brings me into direct contact with all of the candidates running in this race. Shap's experience and his demonstrated leadership skills have better prepared Shap for the role of Lt. Governor.

It takes a steady and patient hand to move the Vermont House toward productive goals. Shap has done that as House Speaker successfully for six years. As Speaker, Shap has no power other than what his peers give to him. The House is the most egalitarian body in Vermont; we all get there the same way so we are all equals. It is because of Shap's imagination, hard work, and willingness to listen to his peers that we entrusted Shap with the gavel to run the House.

Part of any Speaker's job is to facilitate House debates and run them fairly according to the rules that govern House activities. Shap has done this par excel lance. His friendly demeanor and firm determination to enforce the rules fairly have gained him appropriate praise from members of the House regardless of their political party.

The Speaker must know virtually everything that is going on in the House including understanding the issues each of the 14 standing committees of the House is addressing and how the issues are progressing toward resolution. Shap may be the most knowledgeable individual in the state other than the Governor about the full spectrum of issues facing Vermont.

That makes Shap the clear choice if you think that the Lt. Governor has two jobs, chairing the Senate and serving as governor for both the short term when the governor is out of state and should it ever happen again here in Vermont, replace a governor who dies in office. Shap's fair running of the House and his broad exposure to all aspects of government as Speaker has prepared him for the Lt. Governor role.

I highly recommend Shap Smith to you for Lt. Governor.

Rep. David L Deen, Westminster, July 17


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