Bennington, Windham Counties favor incumbents

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(Host) Voters in the state’s southern tier opted for the familiar on Election Day in all but a very few cases.

VPR’s Susan Keese has a roundup from Bennington and Windham Counties.

(Keese) The only upset in Windham or Bennington County was for the Bennington House seat held by Republican Albert Krawczyk. Krawczyk served two terms as a Democrat, but switched his party allegiance in Montpelier after winning a third term in 2002.

Democrat Ann Mook, who defeated Krawczyk, says she listened to the people she met as she covered her district door-to-door.

(Mook) “My strengths are that I’m a good listener and a consensus builder. I am going to Montpelier with the thought that I am going to listen to everything that’s on the table. I don’t have an immediate solution. But I do know right now that health care is strangling our families.”

(Keese) Mook says she also believes finishing the Bennington Bypass is crucial to the town’s economic stability.

Republican Patti Komline of Dorset won a close race for the House Seat opened up by retiring Republican House speaker Walter Freed. The big issues in that district were taxes and education. Dorset, Landgrove, Mount Tabor, Danby and Peru are among the so-called wealthy towns whose taxes increased dramatically by Act 60 and Act 68.

Again, Komline, hasn’t offered easy solutions to the problems. But she says she proved her ability to wrestle with tough problems as chair of the Dorset School board and director of a non-tax education fund.

(Komline) “And I think people know me from working on the school board and working on the Dorset educational foundation, and know that I’m really committed to helping people in town. I work to bring people together to reach solutions as opposed to polarizing people and in order to get any work done on At 68 that’s what were gong to need.”

(Keese) In Windham County, Democratic representatives Mike Obuchowski and Carolyn Partridge survived a challenge from Bellows Falls Lawyer Larry Slason. In fact, all the incumbents from Windham County will return to Montpelier this winter. Bennington County Senators Dick Sears, a seven term Democrat, and Mark Shepard, a freshman Republican were also winners in a four way race for those seats.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Susan Keese.

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