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To the editor:

Dear Vermont voters,

August will bring an important primary election for our state — for U.S. House seat. I will be supporting Becca Balint and here are some reasons. Having served in the Vermont Senate with Becca for eight years I have seen first hand how she works, what her values are and how she will represent Vermont. She is great on the issues — foundations of democracy, support for working Vermonters, support of small business, equity and justice, public education, women's rights, child care, transparent government, etc. But more importantly she has great leadership skills. She has a healthy attitude of listening to differing perspectives and a willingness to work to get things done while holding on to her values. Her respect for the foundations of democracy — voting, participating, connecting — is evident in both her voting record and her lifelong participation in community and state issues.

During her fourth term she was trusted by all 29 other senators to represent us as pro tem of the Senate. The role of pro tem should not be underestimated. She had to represent the Senate, make sure that agendas proceed smoothly, work with committee chairs, recognize all the views of 29 other senators, take into account both the majority and minority parties — work with them in a way to get things accomplished. The job is difficult under the best of circumstances — this was a very difficult time to perform the job — we were in the middle of a pandemic. She led us through one and a half years of legislating over Zoom. It was challenging, exhausting and frustrating for her — she could not meet individually, could not sit down with folks, could not meet with advocates and constituents, etc. But she succeeded — and she led us to success. And she did it gracefully and with patience. I will not elaborate on the great work that was done during this session — others have done so, but it would have been an impressive list in normal times; in these circumstances it was monumental.

My main point is that Becca has the skills, the experience, the leadership abilities, the trust of even those with whom she disagrees, the ability to work with everyone (imagine leading 29 senators all with egos and all who have their own ideas), and she has the values. She will bring all of these to work for all Vermonters in Washington. She may not know just exactly how Washington works but she knows how people work and her skills will be those needed. She is the only candidate that has actually done the hard work of policy making and has the experience it takes to get things done.

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Please vote for Becca in August; actually, early ballots will be available by the end of June. She is the best for Vermont and will bring a passion and a level head that is much needed in Washington. We look to our leaders to be fighters, defenders and peace makers. She knows when and how to be each of these.

Jeanette White,

Windham County Senator

Chair, Senate Government Operations

June 16