State Reps. for St. Johnsbury

st. j votingST. JOHNSBURY - One by one voters made their way out to the polls to make sure that their voices where heard. Voting in St. Johnsbury kicked off this morning at 10 a.m. at the Father Lively Center.



Paul Stuart, a St. Johnsbury voter, explained why he took the time to vote today, "I almost didn't vote because, I've been so discouraged at the national level with both of the parties. But, I figured not voting is a vote." Another voter, Tom Moore, listed a few of the issues that he thinks got the attention of the people, "I think the gun control issue has certainly brought out a lot of people. As well as the local issues on school compensations for UVM."

The people were not the only ones who made it out on this election day. The candidates took advantage of these last few hours to try to gain some more votes from the public.

Republican candidate for State Representative Janssen Willhoit says that Montpelier needs more of a common sense of reason. "I think a lot of the problems that we have now is a lack of balance. I will be able to bring a new perspective, so that way it's not going to be just a constant tax and spend policy. Which Vermont really can no longer afford." If elected, Willhoit aims to bring about a simpler tax system in order to promote entrepreneurship and homeownership. Throughout the past years, he has also been an activist for prisoner rights. This comes from his own conviction of theft by deception. Pushing through his past, Willhoit has worked to regain the publics trust. He said, "Since then, I've been an advocate to do good work. Not only back in my original home state, but also here in Vermont."

There are only two seats open for State Representative of Saint Johnsbury. But there are four candidates who are going head to head for the positions. Willhoit is running against Democratic incumbents Michelle Fay and Bob South. As well as fellow Republican candidate Scott Beck.

Michelle Fay said, "It's hard to imagine things getting much worse then they already were, with the rate of the cost of health care going up incrementally every year. My family was uninsured for three years, so I know the kind of choices people have to make." Fay hopes to find a new way to make the criminal justice system more responsive. Which she believes will in turn reduce the crime rate in St. Johnsbury. She believes that the key to success is, "using leadership based on information, data, and putting the well-being of constituents forward."

Republican Candidate, Scott Beck plans to address several major issues if he is elected. He would like to address the economic growth of Vermont and improve education. All while trying to keep Vermont's state spending down. If elected, Beck would like to put together a block of legislators up and down the river valley that have similar interests as St. Johnsbury. He explained, "To band together into a group large enough to actually make out voice heard, and try to effect change. The biggest one I would like to see is the movement away from sales tax in the state which is really a punishing thing for people on this side of the state."

Bob South has already served three terms as State Representative. If he is re-elected, South plans on continuing to tend to the water treatment plant in St. Johnsbury. His goals for the future include being more pro-active to put a stop to rise in illegal drugs that have been making there way into Vermont. South said that he will always stand up for what he believes is best. Even if that requires that he goes against what the governor wants. "You have to be able to have the speaker's ear, and the governor's ear. When I see something that needs to be done, I do not shy away from calling out the governor or calling the speaker. I'll tell them, 'hey, you know, this is what's best for my community.' I'm not afraid to do that."

Voting in St. Johnsbury will remain open until 7 P.M. tonight.