Custom would have it that in the event of a death or resignation of a sitting legislator, the Governor would appoint someone from the same party-often at the recommendation of local party leaders. Usually the party leaders would give three names to the Governor to consider. Sara Branon Kittell was appointed under such circumstances in 1995 by then Governor Howard Dean.
The fact that former Senator Randy Brock has been tapped by the Franklin County Republicans as their sole nominee to fill Norm McAllister’s seat is disappointing. McAllister isn’t in poor health, and he didn’t die. He’s resigning in disgrace. Recommending a former challenger to the Governor- and no one else- seems like an intentional political play at a time when Franklin County is reeling from the scandal of the allegations against Senator McAllister.
Governor Douglas ignored the Grand Isle Democrats recommendations and appointed Bob Krebs to the seat held by the late Ira Trombley, and he’s been a capable legislator. The Governor can appoint whomever he chooses. Perhaps the Franklin County Republicans could take a pause from their own political calculations and consider that Randy Brock would be a pretty tough pill for the Governor to swallow. Is there no one else in the county who has integrity and enough experience to represent us in the Senate next year?
The details of the allegations against McAllister have cast a pall on our community, and Franklin County needs to have representation in the Senate that can move us beyond this scandal into the future that we all deserve. That the local GOP is trying to make a difficult job impossible for the Governor after turning a blind eye to years of inappropriate behavior by their resigning Senator is just sad.