First there is a mountain; then there is no mountain; then there is…
St. Albans’ two senate seats have been transformed into musical chairs.
When 17-year veteran Democratic Senator Sara Kittell declined to run in 2012, former Senator Don Collins returned to the fray, defeating Republican Dustin Degree to retain the seat in Democratic hands.
Collins was ready and willing to give it another go in 2014 until just a few days ago when he announced that he would not run again, leaving Democrats with a single, untested candidate (Bill Roberts) for the two-seat district.
Two nights ago, on GMD, Democratic Rep. Mike McCarthy hinted that a new female candidate was preparing to announce for Collins’ seat.
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled out into the sunshine to walk my dog and ran into Dustin (my next door neighbor) who told me that Sara had announced in the Weekend Messenger, which was still unopened on my front porch!
Quipped DD with a grin: “Now I think I’ve changed my position on term limits…I’m for them!”
Of course term limits wouldn’t have kept Sara from returning to the Senate after a break, as she proposes to do.
Kittell will be a far more formidable contender than the unknown Mr. Roberts, who only recently identified as a Democrat.
Long the chair of the Senate Agricultural Committee, Sara is one of the best and most respected political voices for sustainable ag and environmental policies. She remained very popular with her former constituents in Franklin County, even when her keen sense of responsibility lead her to vote less conservatively than they might have wished.
Always taking great pains to fully inform herself on the issues, Sara has a record of courage and diplomacy that makes her one of the few political figures for whom I’ve never lost respect.
Welcome back, Senator Kittell!