Two More Join Race for Franklin County Senate Seats | Off Message

Two More Join Race for Franklin County Senate Seats


Vermont Statehouse - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-brodeur
  • Vermont Statehouse
The roster of candidates vying to represent Franklin County in the state Senate this year is growing.

Two more Democrats on Monday confirmed their plans to run in the two-seat district. That puts at least three Democrats and two Republicans in the running, with more than a month to go before the filing deadline.

Interest in the race is particularly strong, with incumbent Republican Sen. Norm McAllister facing criminal sexual assault charges. The Senate suspended McAllister until the charges are resolved. A trial is tentatively set for May. McAllister told Seven Days he has not ruled out seeking reelection.
  • Courtesy photo
  • Sara Kittell

Former state senator Sara Kittell, a Democrat who held the seat for 17 years before retiring in 2012, announced Monday she is making a second attempt to return to the Statehouse. She ran in 2014, and came in third behind Republicans Dustin Degree and McAllister.

Denise Smith, executive director of the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain and a St. Albans City school board member, said Monday she is also running as a Democrat.
  • Courtesy photo
  • Denise Smith

“I feel like this is the best way I can make a difference,” said Smith, 44, the mother of three school-age children and a 16-year resident of Franklin County. She said that finding a long-term funding source for Lake Champlain cleanup is a priority.

Smith is a 2014 graduate of Emerge Vermont, a program that provides political training to Democratic women, and ran the Vermont World Trade Office from 1999 to 2002. 

Kittell, 69, of Fairfield, is a retired registered nurse who grew up on a Franklin County farm. “We need a senator who is committed to working for families … someone who will work to grow economic opportunity, support our local farmers, and deliver the kind of constituent services that our communities need,” Kittell, former chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in a press release.

Previously, Caroline Bright of Georgia announced that she is running for the seat as a Democrat.

Two Republicans are running: Rep. Carolyn Branagan of Georgia and incumbent Degree of St. Albans City.

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