Well, well. Windham County is currently served by two Democratic state senators: the very able Jeanette White and the execrable Peter “The Slummin’ Solon” Galbraith, a.k.a. The Most Hated Man In The Senate.
(His latest offenses, ICYMI: being a persistent thorn in Governor Shumlin’s side on single-payer health care; being so relentlessly bull-headed about campaign finance that he blocked a minor technical change in this year’s bill; and taking up a good portion of the Senate’s closing days with an extended peroration on health care reform, which wasn’t even on the very crowded agenda at the time. And which caused the Senate chamber to empty out, with his colleagues seeking the relative solace of the bustling hallway.)
And yet, two more Democrats have stepped into the race — a very unusual turn of events. I’m sure it has nothing to do with rumors that the Democratic Party has been loudly whispering “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” within earshot of potential candidates from the southeast. Yeah, just a coincidence. I’m sure the Party will do all it can to
subvert support The Most Hated Man’s re-election bid. (He might just have to dig into his fossil fuel fortune again, as he did four years ago when he pretty much bought the seat by spending $50,000 on his own campaign.)
The latest entry is Becca Balint of Brattleboro, an educator and consultant who sits on the town’s Development Review Board and is a Town Meeting representative. Her interests, per the Brattleboro Reformer, center on developing the southeast’s economy by emphasizing its existing strengths: green jobs, mental health services, and the cultural economy, plus improving high-speed Internet access.
Previously announcing was Joan Bowman of Putney. She moved to Vermont only four years ago, but has jumped into the deep end of the activist pool by getting involved with multiple community organizations and serving as a navigator for Vermont Health Connect. Her primary issue, per the Reformer, is single-payer health care.
Both candidates, of course, say their entries have nothing to do with opposing the incumbents; they simply want to engage in a discussion of the issues facing the county and Vermont.
This might be the most interesting primary in the entire Democratic Party field. I look forward to an informative, reasoned, issue-oriented debate, and/or fireworks.