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Posts from the ‘On the Campaign Trail’ Category

On the Campaign Trail No. 1, 2014

August 26, 2014



Headstone of Catherine Buel, Huntington

The primary in Vermont is today, August 26, and Rep. Rebecca Ellis and I do not have an opponent in this election. We will face an opponent in November, a candidate running as an Independent. And with the passing of the primary, we truly begin the fall campaign. In Vermont, our tradition is to knock on as many doors as practicable, or as possible. Our district, Washington-Chittenden, is not an easy walking district — it stretches from the Waterbury-Stowe border to the edge of the village contiguous to Moretown and Duxbury through Bolton until one nearly gets to Mount Mansfield Union High School, and out to Buels Gore, just over the mountain from Mad River Glen. The kids who live in Hanksville, at the far end of the Main Road, have a 23 mile drive to high school if they go MMU. It’s a big area, much like many legislative districts in Vermont and, like many of them, there seems to be a town on the other side of a mountain that has little connection to the main town in the district, in our case Waterbury. Overall, we represent nearly 8,500 Vermonters. 

Knocking on doors or, as I did this past weekend, participating in a fundraiser called Bike for the Barn, gives us the opportunity to listen to our constituents and to see parts of the towns we may not see if we are coming out for Town Meeting, or for a spaghetti dinner.

This photo was taken in a cemetery in the Upper Village in Huntington, and it is the headstone of Catherine Buel, consort of Elias Buel, Junior. Elias was the son of Major Elias Buel, who was awarded the grant for the small piece of land called Buels Gore. I like to stroll through old cemeteries — though not as much as my friend, Dan Barlow — and while I was biking on Saturday past, I stopped to see some of the stones in this cemetery. Soon enough, I found Catherine. I didn’t notice she was a Buel at first.

What stood out was her epitaph: 

“She died in charitable hope of a happy exchange of worlds.”

I thought that a rare and beautiful sentiment, and a mature way to face earthly mortality. Read more

On the Campaign Trail, 2012

August 4, 2012


Car Tiki, Snowfire Auto, Waterbury/Moretown

Snowfire Auto is located at the corner of Route 2 & Route 100 in what many consider to be a part of Waterbury (and is, if you believe the zip code) but is really in Moretown. We consider Snowfire to be a Waterbury business, and they have been generous throughout the years to both communities. Snowfire is an automobile repair shop, and it has also grown its used car sales office, offering “southern” vehicles to Vermonters for decent price and with the promise of excellent service. Given their location, Snowfire’s business was enhanced by state employees who worked at the complex in Waterbury Village. When Irene hit, Snowfire lost a parking lot full of cars and bucket load of customers. Read more

On the Campaign Trail, 2010


One of the benefits of campaigning across my district is that I get an opportunity to see people, places and things in a context that is not common for most folks. Whether it’s the clouds hovering over Mt. Hunger with a hayride coming toward me, or seeing Senator Leahy being interviewed, the right place and the right time came wherever I was with my camera, or, in these cases, with my smartphone. Having this technology, which operates as a leash at times, allows me the opportunity to take the picture and post it in real time. This ability allowed there to be a narrative during the fall campaign of 2010, for me and my friends on Facebook, that told the story of our district and my travels in it without relying on the common “candidate and constituent” photos. I look forward to picking up the ball this summer and fall and doing the same.   Read more